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PF may never go away?

Posted by Sher A on 10/11/03 at 20:27 (133669)

I found out the following after a recent visit to the doctor. First, I have a heel spur in my right heel and one beginning in the left heel, for which I wear the orthotics. The PF is acting up again and the orthotics don't relieve it a bit. I understand that the PF may never go away because the heel spur is cutting into the fascia and as long as I have the spur, the PF isn't going to go away. Some people say that the spur and the PF do eventually go away on their own. Do they? I feel that my only option to really get rid of this is to go the surgery route. The main thing that keeps me away from that is fear and pain and little help if any with insurance. Too many people have told me that the surgery can cause too many problems and may leave me worse off, and isn't worth the risk. I don't see a whole lot of posts here where people are really glad they had the surgery and are now better off. Doctors do not like treating pain and I can't imagine enduring it without help for a year or however long it takes to heal after surgery. So my questions are: is surgery the only way to get rid of this for good? Does the risk of complications after surgery outweigh the benefits?

Re: PF may never go away?

Steve G on 10/11/03 at 20:37 (133671)

Sher - It is generally agreed that the spur is not the cause of the pain. Many people have spurs and are asymptomatic. Don't focus on the spur as the cause of your trouble. Have you read the heel pain book on this site to make sure you are taking care of all of your treatment options?
What treatment have you had in addition to the orthodics - night splints, cortizone injections, stretching, ESWT??

Surgery is the LAST resort. I would not even consider it until I had done at least a year of conservative treatment, including two ESWT treatments.

Re: PF may never go away?

Dr. Z on 10/11/03 at 20:50 (133673)

Hi Sher,

Surgery isn't the only option. Read the heel pain book. Read about ESWT. We have used ESWT instead of foot surgery for years. ESWT avoids all of the complications that are attached to pf foot surgery

Re: PF may never go away?

John H on 10/11/03 at 21:06 (133674)

Sugery should be your very very very last option. Spurs are only synmptoms and very unlikely the cause of your pain. It will take some time and effort on your part to educate yourself and put a plan of action into place. REad read and read some more on this site.

Re: PF may never go away?

Sher A on 10/12/03 at 22:56 (133809)

That pretty well is the consensus of opinion, surgery as the last option. I appreciate the honesty there. Yes, I have finally read the entire heel pain book here and am doing everything I can do on my own, stretches, heat, all that. I would love to try the ESWT but the cost is prohibitive. We don't have that kind of money. Tomorrow I have another appt with the pod to see how the orthotics are going. They help me walk but I can't imagine spending my life in them, especially in the summer. I'm virtually disabled once my shoes are off. Night splints, I'm already seriously sleep deprived because of my job, anything on my feet that doesn't normally belong there and I'll never be able to sleep. So I'm just wondering if this is ever going to go away on its own? Or will it now beome a recurring nightmare?

Re: PF may never go away?

Rose on 10/13/03 at 09:28 (133823)

I had surgery July first, both feet at once. One for PF and the other a neuroma. had tried everything mentioned here on this board and I still had lots of pain. To make a long story short....I am thrilled I had the surgery. I can walk around the house barefooted with little pain, even if I am not supposed to. Yesterday I went for a long walk, and no pain at all. I wear Briks around and New Balance out if I am to be on my feet a wh8ile or at home if I am on my feet much. I have custom orthodics made from the cast method. I am fully expecting to be fully cured within a month or two. I have had npo pain medication at all for a long long time.
Now I think part iof my recovery was due to lots and lots of rest...a wheel chair for over a month....lots of lying around and then only gentle deep water aerobics. I am a teacher and I have just retired, so I have that luxury of really babying my feet and stayng off of them. I did wear a boot for several months and I wear it now and then to bed on both feet to keep them stretched. The other foot had the start of PF before the surgery and that is completely gone. I think that is due to the rest and ice. I literally iced for almost two weeks straight after surgery.
So I do believe, that in many cases, if one takes a lot of time and lets the body heal by eating right, taking lots of vitamins like C and staying off those feet for a long time...it should lead to a complete recovery.have been
I had no physical therapy, but told to roll a rubber ball under my feet to help scar tissue from forming.My suegeon, a wonderful man, said if I thought I was not healing quickly enough to call and he would refer me to physical therapy and we could try anything else I wanted. He said there were lots of options. His attitude alone probably helped me to heal. I also do the regular strethes we all do regularly. I also do the feet exercises mentioned in Peter Egoscue's book Pain Free.
I wish you all the best and want to encourage you to try surgery...it is so worth the chance of getting out of this horrible foot pain and leading a normal life.

Re: PF may never go away?

John H on 10/13/03 at 17:19 (133893)

Rose: Great for you. Continue to follow your Docs instructions. Be aware that sometimes you can develop a pain on the oposite side of the foot after the surgery. It normally will go away after a while.