Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Is this board biased towards EWST

Posted by Steve on 7/06/04 at 13:18 (154618)


The general gist I got from reading heelspurs.com is that PF ( fascia release) surgery may not help and may even make things worse.

I recently ran into two seperate individuals in real life who had such surgeries and said they completely recovered EVERYTHING in about a month.

Additionally, an orthopedic surgeon ( I was going to his sports therapy clinic for physical therapy ) told he had over a 90% success rate with surgery and that he/his colleuges did not think much of EWST as an effective treatment. He admitted it has been several years since he looked into the issue.

Is it possible that this board is skewed ( unintentionally ) regarding surgery?

My guess is that if people with PF got surgery and got cured they would not be posting here as much as people who got surgery and still had a problem.


Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

april l on 7/06/04 at 16:35 (154650)

I often wonder about the real stats regarding plantar fascia release surgery. I had EPF on both feet, done 7 yrs. apart by different podiatrists. I consider my surgeries to be complete sucesses, but it sure didn't take only a month to heal. I post here because I want ppl to know that there is hope for those who still have pain months after the surgery. I know how depressed and upset I was after my first surgery. I thought it was a complete failure, and that is because my doctor told me that I can't possibly have pain when the fascia was released (this was 3 weeks after surgery!) I was in worse pain than prior to surgery, and a year later I still wasn't completely pain free. But... eventually I recovered completely and I am grateful that I had the surgery. Had it again on my other foot. I know of one other person in real life who had the release and she recovered fairly quickly.

Nobody ever mentioned EWST to me, in fact I have only heard about it from this site. If it works for ppl, I would like to know. I have never read a post from someone who had EWST that worked. I've only read that it was yet another disappointment amongst all the other conservative treatments for PF.

I feel EPF surgery was the answer for me however, I don't doubt that people have had terrible outcomes from it. I know there are serious complications sometimes. I just want for those people who have had EPF to know that it takes time to heal, sometimes a long time, and not to give up too quickly.

Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/07/04 at 09:48 (154724)

A 90% success rate with plantar fascial release surgery is unheard of. Plantar fascial release surgery is technically very simple so if it was safe and effective, it is a procedure we would be happy to do more of. It does work for some but there is a high failure and complication rate.

Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

april l on 7/07/04 at 10:58 (154732)

My doctor also told me that he had a 90% success rate with EPF surgery. I understand that there can be complications, and I know some people are worse after surgery, but I have a hard time believing I was just very lucky to have had two successful surgeries by two different podiatrists. At what point do doctors consider a surgery a failure? The doctor who did my first surgery probably put me into the 'failure' list because he failed to tell me that recovery would take a long time, and I thought it was a failure and sought out another doctor. He never heard from me again, so he doesn't know that the surgery he did was a success after all. Is it possible that doctors don't end up hearing about the successes if patients suffering through long recovery periods seek other doctors? If a doctor performs surgery and 6 months later the patient is still in pain, isn't it likely that the patient will find another doctor? I did the first time, and the only reason I didn't the second time is because my doctor told me up front that it could take a year to recover.

Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/08/04 at 00:22 (154832)

You may be right in that if the first doc did not hear from you, he assumed that you were a success. It is hard to place a fixed amount of time on recovery for this because it is so variable. This adds to our reasons for favoring non-surgical treatment.

Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

april l on 7/08/04 at 10:42 (154847)

I was saying the opposite in that my first doctor may very well think the surgery he did on me was a failure because I dumped him and found another doctor due to continued pain and complications that were really just part of a long recovery. I wonder how many doctors out there think they have failed surgeries when in fact those patients did recover eventually. I think any doctor who performs a plantar release needs to tell patients that it often takes a long time to heal, and they should not decide whether or not the surgery was a failure until two years have passed and then follow up with that patient. I feel that doctors are more likely to know about so-called or real failures because they will hear about it from their patients. But when things eventually get better, patients are less likely to have contact with the doctor. I know in my situation with my first doctor, he does not know that my case was a success. In fact he told me I was the only patient who complained of continued pain after surgery. He told me prior to surgery that he had 100% success and that people don't need their plantar fascia for support! Anyway, he was a bad doctor in my opinion, but he DID perform a successful EPF on me.

Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

Buffy on 7/08/04 at 20:31 (154887)

I totally agree with you. I had EPF on both feet at the same time 12/03 and my feet are just fine. I have never even been back to the Dr. since he released me. The Dr. I go to does the EWST and it was never ever mentioned as a treatment option. I never even had an injection. He said they would not do me any good. I have very poor foot mechanics. I turn my feet in when I walk so I do wear orthothics. I use to have knee and hip pain, but both of those went away when I started wearing the orthotics. Yes, the recovery time after EPF is long, but I now can go to bed at night and not have shooting foot pain wake me up in the middle of the night. It has been almost 7 months since my surgery and I can do just about anything I want to within reason. I think the surgery is great! The Dr. I go to has PF himself. I have ofen wondered if any of the Drs who post here have PF?

Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

Ed Davis, DPM on 7/09/04 at 14:39 (154969)

The problem with plantar fascial release surgery is the inconsistency of results. Some people do fine and am glad to see you are one of those. Unfortunately, many people don't do well and we have no way of predicting who will do well, who won't nor can anyone give you the reason for the varied response to the surgery.

Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

april l on 7/09/04 at 23:06 (155015)

My doctor has PF too.

Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

John King on 7/17/04 at 17:30 (155699)

Many doctors consider surgery a failure if they don't get paid.

Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

John King on 7/17/04 at 17:33 (155701)

The thing is how do you know that you might have just recovered anyway by resting your feet? You get the surgery and it takes 'two years to recover'. That is a long, long time.

Re: Is this board biased towards EWST

april l on 7/17/04 at 22:42 (155724)

I took 5 months off work to rest my feet...it did nothing to help my PF. I had the surgery after that 5 month period when it was clear that rest wasn't going to help. I've been a waitress for 20 years and I had suffered with PF for about 10 of those years. So, I know that the reason I'm pain free today is because I had the surgery. One foot took longer to recover than the other one, but I would not consider the pain to be worse than the PF pain, which was so bad that I had to cut way back on my hours, and even then I worked in severe pain. My first foot took over a year to recover, and by that I mean 100% pain free, no PF symptoms at all. That doesn't mean that 5 months after the surgery I wasn't doing well, it's just that I still had pain altho in different parts of my foot.

Re: re april

raymond m,l. on 8/11/04 at 16:16 (157582)

dont lison she is only a waitress and a big dummy

Re: Scottr or morderator

marie on 8/11/04 at 19:01 (157600)

please delete raymond's message.