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Plantar Fasciitis

Posted by Margo on 9/17/03 at 19:34 (130379)

I have been dealing with pf for the past 2 1/2 years. It started after walking on concrete (for exercise) in slip on shoes. I had no idea that I would be paying for such stupidity in the form of horrid pain in my heel.

I have been to my Podiatrist, received a cortisone shot, which was heavenly for 2 1/2 months & then wore off when I started walking again at the gym.

I have an appointment with my Podiatrist next week & am just wanting to beg him to do surgery & get it over with. I'm very unsure about all the risks involved with the surgery. I'm 32 yrs. old & feel like I'm 90. It's extremely painful first steps out of bed in the morning, then eases up until I've been on my feet for a couple of hours, then it's pain the rest of the day. I was told by a co-worker that her mother had it & was back on her feet the next day? She wasn't under any restrictions? How serious of a surgery are we talking about?

I've tried icing it, heating it, wearing inserts in my shoes & the cortisone. Any suggestions or opinions are welcome.

Thanks in advance!

Re: Plantar Fasciitis

chris on 9/18/03 at 07:54 (130417)

Hi! Wow your pain sounds exactly like mine several years ago. I too had pain so bad first thing in the morning, I had to crawl to the bathroom. Then it would improve only to to have more pain later in the day. Like you, I begged the doctor for surgery and cried when I was told, no, we are going to try all those non-surgical treatments, again!

Actually, at least in my case, it was a good thing. It ended up that in addition to having pf I also had tts. If I had had just the pf surgery, I would have still had pain.

Now I'm not saying that you also have tts, but I would say that before you do go ahead with surgery you make sure you investigate other possibilities. The folks on this board will be able to help you out in that department much better than me.

Oh and for the record, I had my surgery for both pf and tts in Nov '00 and am still completely pain free to this day!

Re: Plantar Fasciitis

jackiem on 9/18/03 at 12:16 (130440)

Hi, any decision surgery should be between you and your dr, but this is what happened to me.
Suffered for over 3 years, had all the shots, ice, stretching had it all.
Just like you, the shots were wonderful for about 2 months. Im 34 and was overweight, and lost until I was slightly underweight all in a effort to stop the pain. I finally begged my DPM to do the surgery, and I had it done 11/5/02 almost a year ago. The surgery was painful, but done as an outpatient at the local hospital. I did have a bad reaction to the anestesia, (I dont think thats spelled correct). But I was out of work for 1 week. My Dr. wanted me to start walking the 4th day after surgery, but I hopped around on crutches for 2 weeks, I wish I had not done that, because one I started walking and got over the initial pain it got better so quickly. oh--I had open surgery with the bone spur removed and pf loosned. I did have alot of pain in the 2 weeks after surgery, burning tingeling sometimes it felt like my foot was being shocked, but that was nerves healing and it went away. Now I am so glad I did it, I was not, the first month after surgery, but it really got better for me. Right now I can not remember what that pain felt like, and a year ago I thought I would never forget it. I would be glad to answer any question you have on my experience.

Re: Plantar Fasciitis

BrianJ on 9/18/03 at 17:21 (130476)

Jackie --

Would you please give us more detail on your pre-surgical history? For example, how did you develop PF, was it in both feet, and what were your exact symptoms?

Also, what kind of surgery did you have? Was it open, or minimal incision, or endoscopic?

I always love to hear details from people who are pain-free. It keeps the rest of us optimistic!

Re: Plantar Fasciitis

Jon W. on 9/19/03 at 12:45 (130533)

Hey, I have had pf for @ 4 years now. Thought it was a sprain at first and didn't seek out a doctor till a year ago because I was hardly able to walk by that point. I have been through the gambit and my doctor has suggested surgery, but at one point I asked her if there was such a thing as 'Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome' like there is carpal tunnel syndrome and her answer was no such thing... So now I am perplexed, how did you discover you had TTS?? (Now that I know it exists!!). I am thinking about purchasing a 'N'ice Splint' as my night splint supplied by my doctor does not seem to offer much support and as I sleep through the night My heel slides up in it, allowing for extension of the foot. I have had 2 cortozone shots, months of physical therapy, stretch, ice, night splint, 2 types of orthotics, supportive shoes, taping, and now my doctor says surgery, but I have read of mixed results, that vary so wildly, it's scary. After discovering heelspurs.com I have started orally taking MSM and then went and got some DMSO, which I just started last night. Any further suggestions?? I know I am going to get a second opinion!! But, what were your symptoms of TTS?? RSVP!!


Re: Plantar Fasciitis

jackiem on 9/19/03 at 13:29 (130537)

I had the spur in 1 foot only, I can remember when it happened. In an excercise class I thought I sprained the muscle on the bottom of my foot, but the instructors kept telling me that could not be possible to change shoes, and I did over an over. This did not help, what I think really happened was I had sprained the plantar tendon and the spur grew in the help it reattatch. The exact symptoms were pain in the morning and after sitting for a while. Horrible pain in excercise class and after standing for any length of time. This got worse over time it never went away(except when I got the shots) This went on for 2 years, finally I went to an orthopedic Dr. and he diagnosed the spur. In the mean time I had changed gym's and a DPM and his wife were members also and I spoke with them and started seeing him. He did the injections, night splints--everything. The pain always came back so he did the surgery, it was open surgery with a partial release and removal of the spur.The only problem I had was a little nerve damage that makes the opposit side of my foot(pinky toe) feel numb and really thick. But let me tell you--that is much better than the heel pain, I would take it any day of the week. It does not even bother me unless I go bare foot. I still rub the scar every day with coconut foot cream and my massage therapist has some type of machine she stimulated the nerves with that really helps I dont know what it is.
thats my story-- oh my brother has the same problem, but he has scar tissue build up(no spur) and he had that low wave electro shock thing done wednesday and today he is pain free,was walking as soon as he left the hospital wednesday. If my insurance had paid for me to have it I would have tried it first, but I didnt have a choice.

Re: Plantar Fasciitis

chris on 9/19/03 at 13:30 (130538)

Let's see. I started having heel pain in Jan '00 and waited over a month before going to the doc. He said pf and did every tx avaiable. In Jul he released me for surgery. I had to go to a different dr. When I saw her, she wanted to again do every treatment - I begged for her to cut my foot off.

I think it was a couple weeks later, that she called me and asked me about tts. I had previously read about it, but doubted I had that. She felt that because I continued to have pain throughtout the day and because I also had a history of carpal tunnel that I shoudl be tested. I had that elctrotrode thing, which indicated that there was some sort of nerve compression.

I had my surgery for both pf and tts in Nov '00.

If I would have had just the pf surgery, I might still be in pain today.

I consider myself very lucky. I did not find this board until after my surgery and if I had, I might not have had surgery, especially after reading about so many horror stories. There is a tts board here, have you been to it??? There are some very knowledgable folks over there.

Pretty much, I feel the only help I can really provide, is what I went through. My knowledge of diagnosing and treating is not as up-to-date as others.

So to answer your questions - it was the second doctor who considered tts - mostly becuase of the all day pain.

My symptoms as I remember was the severe pain in the morning. When I first put my foot on the ground. I couldn't do it and many mornings, crawled to the bathroom. The pain would get better but return later in the day, to the point where I would be limping. I do remember clearly that when I would sit for extended periods of time (like a atff meeting) that I would not be able to walk right away and would have to limp. I also remember having pain on the top of my foot around the big toe area.

Hope that helps!

Re: Plantar Fasciitis

Jenean T. on 9/30/03 at 14:24 (131762)

I was just diagnosed with PF. I had no idea how serious it was until I started reading these posts. I have it on the bottom of my heel. Is there such thing as just living normal with it and taking preventitive medicine or actions? I am just trying to get a feel for this new problem. I am overweight and now, but seriously planning on losing weight so I can try to control the pain better. What are the chances of me eventually having surgery? Is it a must-do?

Re: Plantar Fasciitis

Carole C in NOLA on 9/30/03 at 18:02 (131777)

Hi, Jenean. Surprisingly, doctors have told us that the chances of recovering completely without surgery are 95%, and surgery doesn't always work. So maybe that's good news; most of us would probably not recommend surgery right off the bat. It is definitely NOT a 'must-do', and it could be a 'must-not-do'.

What does work are certain non-surgical treatments that you can do yourself, like gentle non-weighbearing stretching, ice, resting your feet, never going barefoot, orthotics, Birkenstocks, and other similar things. Listen to your feet; if it hurts, don't do it. If you work standing on your feet, try to be transferred to a desk job for six months or so.

Losing weight helps some people quite a lot, and others not at all. I lost 80 pounds, THEN got PF for the first time in my life, stayed the same until I was better, then gained back 40 pounds and it didn't get worse. But weight has made a big difference for some people. If you need to lose weight, this would be a good time to do it; but I don't think you should feel that getting PF was your fault due to being overweight.

A good place to start learning about conservative treatments is Scott's heel pain book, which you can read for free on this website. Also, keep reading these message boards and asking questions. When you post, it's best to post nearer the top of the message board. To see your post, I had to go to the second page by clicking on something like 'more posts' (I've forgotten exactly what words are used). Most people (being human) just don't read far enough down to have seen this post.

I hope your feet get better soon!

Carole C

Re: Plantar Fasciitis

Jenean on 10/01/03 at 07:46 (131824)

Thank you so much for your help. I have been trying to read everything I can but it helps to get advice. I feel better knowing that surgery is not immenent.