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My Pod is making noises about surgery. Need your input

Posted by francesc on 3/17/04 at 15:45 (147178)


I have had PF in my right foot for over a year. I continued to run and do physical things for 6 months afterward while doing stretching. But it got worse and I tried to play tennis and that sent it over last July. I also started developing PF in my left foot as well although I do not have the typical morning pain with it. It is more arch soreness and everyone (physical therapist and Doctor) feel it is compensatory PF.

Anyway this is my second pod that I'm seeing. I started seeking treatment last July with my first podiatrist. I got a cortisone shot in my right foot which seemed to help until last December (lots of Christmas shopping in 3 days). After this second flare-up, I decided to try another doctor.

Since then I have been doing physical therapy, wearing a night splint, and taking 600mg Advil after each meal.

My current doctor isn't happy with the progress (or lack) I've had under the conservative treatment plan and thinks that I'll eventually need to have a PF release surgery done.

He doesn't feel ESWT is permanent so he doesn't do it. And when I asked him about the success rate of surgery (I've heard it to be more around 80 to 85%), he feels that number is low because a lot of doctors do it too soon. He said that most of his patients (about 90-95%) are glad that they have had the surgery.

Is it too soon for me to be thinking about this? I am so confused. The last doctor I saw was all for ESWT but terrible with the orthotics situation (I can't handle rigid/semi-rigid orthotics) and with listening to me. I like this doctor but, I'm hesitant about going into surgery.

For now, he is having me continue with therapy and gave me a prescription for a stronger anti-inflammatory in hopes it will bring the swelling down.

What is your advice? Should I try yet another podiatrist or should I just continue on this conservative plan for a while?


Re: My Pod is making noises about surgery. Need your input

Steve G on 3/17/04 at 17:17 (147188)

You need to slow down, first of all. Continuing the run, play tennis, etc with PF can lead to nothing but trouble. I would continue with the conservative treatment and get ESWT done before I even considered surgery. If your pod won't do it, then get one that will. Both of these pods sound misguided to me. The first one that does not feel ESWT is permanent and the second one that claims a 90-95 success rate for the surgery - this sounds, based on what I have read, quite optimistic. In fact, I would not trust a pod that gave me a success rate like that.

Surgery is a serious undertaking, and, althought I know people who have had successful surgery, if it does not go well you can end up in serious trouble. All you have to do is read a thread like the following to make you wary of surgery. This poor fellow's despair becomes more and more evident as you read through the post -


So hold off on the surgery and try all of the conservative treatments (including ESWT) before you let anyone cut your foot

Re: Oops

SteveG on 3/17/04 at 17:23 (147189)

Reading your note again - I see that it is the same pod that a) does not believe in ESWT and b) claims a 90-95% success rate. Get rid of him a get a new pod. If you tell us where you live, you can most likely get a good recommendation from someone on these boards

Re: Oops

francesc on 3/18/04 at 16:42 (147236)

Hi Steve,

Hm, I was afraid of that.

I live in Cupertino, CA. It's close to San Jose, CA. I hope someone can recommend a good podiatrist.

By the way, I haven't done any running or playing of any sports since last July. So I have only been riding a stationary bike and wearing ASICS outside and Birkenstocks inside. So I have slowed down quite a bit.

THe problem is that I have 2 kids (3 & 5) and I can't totally slow down!