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Here goes nothing - going for ESWT

Posted by Colleen K on 1/28/04 at 12:28 (143057)

I've been reading the boards for a few months, as I debated on the ESWT and my doc exhausted all other options so that insurance would be ok with it. I will have the procedure done in February. Don't know what kind of machine he uses, will have to check at next appt.

I've suffered with PF for years. Left foot is the worst right now, right foot is bearable. Doing ESWT on left only. The shots used to work great, with relief for up to 1 year. They stopped working. Tried anti-inflammatories, but they didn't do much (usually in conjunction with the shots). Even tried oral steriods (no good) and night splints, which I absolutely hate. Of course, I wear orthotics.

Here is the good news: I am in PA, and Blue Cross (ppo) has agreed to pay for the treatment. They were balking because it is done at an outpatient surgery center, and they only allow 'surgery' at a hospital. None of the hospitals in our area do it, so they ok'd it.

The bad news is that I will be under general anesthesia, which I am not thrilled about. And I am a bit concerned about the risks, which my doc said are heel stress fracture (and a long time in a cast) and an open wound on my heel can occur. Anyone have any of the side effects?

My doc said he would give me a narcotic for the pain for the first few days (up to 5). Was the pain that bad after the treatment? For such a long time?

Thanks for your input!!!

Re: Here goes nothing - going for ESWT

Mary R. on 1/28/04 at 13:28 (143061)

Oh goodness! That sounds alot worse than my doc is telling me! I'm weighing my options and thinking about doing it next month too! But I was never told about any of these side effects or possible risks! My doc uses local anesthesia not general...that is definitely harder to get over in and of itself. I'm not sure but I'm looking forward to some of the professionals responses!

Best of luck in your decision
Mary :)

Re: Colleen (and Mary)

Ron B on 1/29/04 at 00:18 (143147)

Colleen I wouldn't let your Doc touch me for NOTHING!!!!! General anesthesia???? No way. I had ESWT done eight weeks ago yesterday. My pod gave me a shot in each foot near the ankle. no pain for that at all.
The ESWT was just a little pain full and the doc can give ya more anesthesia. I did not feel any pain after the Treatment was over. I felt the same when I walked out as when I walked in. and I drove myself home with no trouble. I did take two days off work because I work all night on my feet for 8-10 hours. I didn't feel and worse or better for the first seven weeks I have just now started to feel improvment. But I have also been doing the yoga stretches on this site along with swimming three times a week. Why does your doc think you need a cast or pain Med?? I just took Tylenol thats all they want you to take after the treatment.
I have not heard of one person having open cuts or wounds or having their foot in a cast! I would get a 2nd opinion for sure. I think you will get alot of feed back on your post. Talk to Dr. Z. he is very helpful. If you can find the right pod to do the treatment on you, I would suggest having it done. but it takes time to feel improvment so be patient. If I can answer any questions, feel free to ask. You will get lots of help her. Good Luck
Ron B

Re: Colleen (and Mary)

Colleen K on 1/29/04 at 09:34 (143164)

Ron -

I acutally feel very comfortable with my doctor. He is very thorough, and likes to let me know all of the potential side effects of any procedure I decide to do. Possible side effects of ESWT include the chance of a heel stress fracture, which would require the cast. Another possible side effect is an open wound at the site of the ESWT (he had a name for it, but I don't remember it). (you should hear the list of side effects he gave me when he put me on an oral steriod dose pack, including psychotic episodes) He also said I should not have too much pain, but some people have a low tolerance for it, and therefore he prescribes a stronger pain medicine if it is needed. We have certainly exhausted all other options. He even did an MRI to make sure I don't have anything else going on. Will get those results tomorrow.

He did say that he expected that I could return to work the next day (I am a desk jockey - sit all day).

From other posts on this site, it is my understanding that one of the methods of ESWT requires general anesthesia. I don't know yet if this is the type I am having, or if the general is just his method. Will find out tomorrow.

ESWT is a new treatment for our area. My doc and one other center are currently doing it. Certainly better than surgery!

Re: Colleen (and Mary)

Ron B on 1/29/04 at 10:27 (143169)

So what kind of music do you play as a DJ ??? Oldies I hope ! LOL I have never heard of a general anesthesia for ESWT. don't know if anyone on this site had a general. for ESWT. I got a shot by each ankle, just like going to the dentist. I haven't heard of anyone getting a stress fracture or an open wound, cut or even a bruise from ESWT. Yes it is better than surgery. Have you tried taping?
Well, good luck to you and keep us posted on how things are going

Re: Colleen (and Mary)

Joe B. on 1/29/04 at 10:28 (143170)


Just a suggestion: Find out which type of machine your POD is going to use and research it on this site. From my reading there is drastic differences between the various brands. You may be mixing apples and oranges here asking for feedback and getting it from folks who were treated on a machine that won't be used on you.

Re: Colleen (and Mary)

Molly H on 1/30/04 at 10:04 (143240)

Ossatron uses a general and Dornier uses a local. I had the Dornier 2 times once in May 2003 and once in November 2003. I am 12 weeks post right now, I got significant improvement from the 1st ESWT but, still was not cured and now 12 weeks post, I am a little better over the last ESWT BUT, STILL NOT cured. I am not in pain 24/7 like I was before my first ESWT now it is just in the morning and after standing or walking too long. It is still very frustrating because I am a competitive runner.
Just my 2 cents! :)


Re: Colleen (and Mary)

Colleen K on 2/02/04 at 09:19 (143460)

Went to doc last Friday. Reviewed my MRI, said everything looks good to move forward with the ESWT. He uses the Ossatron. He prefers that machine, and said the center evaluated both machines when deciding which to use. I know there is much debate about which machine, so I will stand by his choice. He also likes the general anesthesia better, then will give novicane shots at the end, after the treatment. Hoping this works for me, will have to give it time. My problem is resting the foot. Have tried taping, stretching, shots, oral steriods, NSAIDs, you name it. Sometimes I wonder if I used crutches for a week or so, no pressure on the foot, if that would provide any relief. Will have to ask him next time.

Just waiting now to hear when my procedure is scheduled!