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having the surgery

Posted by Rochelle on 9/21/03 at 18:16 (130640)

I have posted my pf probs on this board previously...I have been thru it all.

I am still having PF probs after 2 years and tried everything but ESWT (INSURANCE WONT COVER IT AND I CANT AFFORD IT) so eswt is out of the question.

Anyways, I am going for EPF surgery at the end of Oct.-my doc says that 'its time'. He prefers the surgery with the insicions on each side of the heel (he told me that he trained under the guy that invented the surgery when I informed him of my concerns of nerve damage and future corrective surgeries if this one doesnt work.)

I have to admit that I am still terrified. Primarily because everyone on this board that has the surgery seems to be in a terrific amount of pain for a week or 2 after surgery..(it scares me). I am also scared that I may regret my descision.

I am prepared for having to stay in bed for a week solid and limited walking mobility for a month or so. But, its the pain that I am not preparred for. But, I would like to be able to walk for christmas (and to decorate my home).

I am investing in a Aircast with a ankle cuff to give me cryo-therapy. I think its a wise investment.

Again, ESWT is out of the question. We really cannot afford the expense-just bought a new home and money is tight. Plus, I cant invest in something like ESWT if there is NO guarantee that it will work. Nothing else that I have done has worked so far over the last 2 years. I am desperate to be pain free.

If anyone has words of wisdom or encouragement, I am going to need them.


Re: having the surgery

Dr. Z on 9/21/03 at 19:12 (130645)

Good luck. cyro-therapy is very good for post-operative surgical pain. I use it alot.

Re: having the surgery

Rochelle on 9/21/03 at 21:52 (130657)

great- thanks for letting me know this.

I am a massage therapist-how long after surgery can I start working on brekaing up the scar tissue?

Re: having the surgery

Juby on 9/22/03 at 14:05 (130692)

Hi Rochelle, I had EPF, one in Dec 02 and the other Feb 03. The pain was very minimal for me. I take one week off work ( I am A Chiropractor). I did not need pain pills either. Other than scar tissue(which most people do NOT get), I thought the procedure was pretty straight forward. Hope this makes you feel better. Good Luck, Juby

Re: having the surgery

Sandra D on 9/22/03 at 20:47 (130735)

Rochelle, my cousin had the surgery a few years ago and did great. She is a teacher and head basketball coach for a school in Georgia. The only thing she says she regrets is that she did not have it sooner. She has an insicion on the side of her foot. She had the surgery in the summer and was off her feet for about a week. I am going to have the surgery in 2004. I have made up my mind because I am tired of walking in pain. God Bless you and please post and let everyone know how you are doing.

Sandra D.

Re: having the surgery

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 20:59 (130737)

There is no guarantee that surgery will work either. Statistically surgery works a lower percentage of the time than ESWT. There is time loss from work with surgery, little or none with ESWT.

Add up the cost of time loss, deductibles, co-payments -- for the surgery, anesthesiologist, hosptial or surgicenter, surgeon, physical therapy and it will probably be a bit more than what ESWT costs. A lot more than what ESWT costs if complications arise. Even more expensive yet if the surgery does not work (about a 40% chance of that happening).

Re: having the surgery

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 21:05 (130741)

Please accept my best wishes for success if you have already made up your mind. It would be my hope that you are making that decision on complete information. I make about 3 times as much money on a plantar fascial release than on an ESWT but am obligated to present the whole picture.

Re: having the surgery

Rochelle on 9/22/03 at 21:33 (130751)

Judy, thanks for telling me this! I feel much better about the surgery now!

Re: having the surgery

Rochelle on 9/22/03 at 21:53 (130761)

I understand your concerns. And I agree with waht you are saying. I just feel that if ESWT is something that I have done and it doesnt take, I will end up in surgery anyways. Maybe that is not a logical way of thinking-but, that is the way that I rationalize it.

I have PF in both feet and I am seeing my doc tomorrow for cortisone shots in both feet so that I can take a final trip w/ my husband on Oct 2nd to DC.

I have a feeling that my doc may go against this, but since I have bad PF in both feet and I am having surgery anyways-I am going to consider requesting having surgery in both feet at the same time. I know that it will make it a bit more difficult to recover-but I am planning on being down for recovery anyways....your feelings on this??

I really dont mean to be difficult.

I am just in pain and have been for a LONG time. Other therapies have not helped me. I have taken NSAIDS for 2 years and I am not on any meds anymore because I have taken them too long and my doc was worried about long term affects that it could have on me. I want to be a healthy, happy and pain free woman.

Re: having the surgery

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/22/03 at 22:59 (130765)

Having surgery on both feet is difficult because it is very difficult to get around after the procedure -- you would need a lot of help. If ESWT did not work you could wind up in surgery -- about a 15% chance but if surgery does not work, you could wind up in ESWT -- about a 40% chance.
Many have an image that surgery is somehow more definitive -- that is not the case with PF.

Re: having the surgery

Dr. Z on 9/22/03 at 23:35 (130771)


In my practice I feel that ESWT is just the right thing to do. I feel this to the point that if a patient is concerned about money with ESWT we make the promise that if for some reason ESWT doesn't work we will do the foot surgery at no charge. On the topic of doing both at once. That is just a mistake and increase your post-op healing problems. Good luck with having foot surgery if that is YOUR choice.
Seeing failed foot surgery very week in my practice is what has made Dr. Z and practice with ESWT. Again this is your choice I always say once the foot has been cut you can't turn back the clock. Do you realize that you can have ESWT done for about $70 per month on a payment plan. ?

Re: having the surgery

Rochelle on 9/23/03 at 15:42 (130820)

I saw my doc today to get cortizone shots in both feet.....(UGH)

He didnt give me your fabulous guarantee that they will do the surgery at no charge if ESWT didnt work..I may be serously into ESWT in that case.

I did speak to him about ESWT again today and I have to admit that I would prefer that route if I knew that I wouldnt end up on a operating table anyways...I guess that there is never a guarantee..

He did say that he will not operate on both feet on the same sugery for the same reasons that you did. They do have a payment plan but I need to look more into it.

I wasnt aware of the fact that it was a one time procedure-I found that our today.


Re: having the surgery

Rochelle on 9/23/03 at 15:45 (130821)

I was told today that if you have the surgery, you then cannot have ESWT afterwards. (if you have already had the surgery)...but, the doc said that he would consider trying it.

Re: having the surgery

Rose on 9/25/03 at 21:30 (131078)

Please see my post under surgery recuperation above. I had surgery on both feet at once, one was PF resease. I am very happy I did it. I know I will beck to normal in a few more months at the rate I am going. By back to normal, I mean able to do aerobic or step classes. Go on long walks etc. I am 59 years old and suffered with this for a long long time. Surgery has been great for me. I should have done it a long time ago. So don't be afraid. It is a wonderful thing for most people. I suppose that possibly many of the success stories are no longer on this board. I just want to encourage anybody thinking along these lines. Yes, it hurts a lot the first week but it gets better and better. I feel some of my success is that I spent a large amount of time in bed with both feet iced. I am also a teacher, so I had the luxury to lie around a lot and really let things heal this summer.I used the wheel chair out of the house for almost two months and did not abuse my feet at all.If it had been during school, I would have used the chair to save my feet. I also took a lot of suppliments and I belieave that eating a lot of raw foods helps one heal quickly too. So I try to eat a healthy diet especially when trying to heal. I cut out processsed foods, sugars, and most breads. It is hard, but worth it.
I wish you all the best.

Re: having the surgery

Rochelle on 9/26/03 at 19:58 (131195)

Rose, thanks for the words of encouragement.

I am definately going thru with it at the end of the month. I got cortisone shots in both feet on Tues. and it did not take well (yes, I am icing 2x a day) so now, the doc told me to get completetly off my feet (until I do go DC on Thurs) and ice a whole lot more...bummer.

I want to get the surgery and be as happy as you...

Thanks so much for giving me your 2 cents..its really helped.