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

scared to death

Posted by christyw on 8/12/04 at 22:25 (157734)

I have gotten alot of negative answers about the EPF surgery. The doctor told me this is my last option. I have had PF since I was 23. I am 25 now and I have tried everything. I have had about 6 cortisone shots, night splints, shoes, orthotics, ice, stretching, celebrex, taping and physical therapy. I have already been of work for 6 weeks. My job consists of standing for 10 1/2 to 11 1/2 hours a day. I just really don't know what else to do. Any suggestions of what helped your PF without surgery? I am supposed to have surgery Tuesday. The doctor said I have PF because my arches are really high. Let me know anything you might find to be helpful. I would like to hear some success stories and what to expect.


Re: scared to death

Julie on 8/13/04 at 01:32 (157741)

Christy, at least get another opinion before you go in for surgery. It may be the right move for you - but then again it may not, and if it isn't entirely successful you may regret it. I hope this doesn't sound cynical, but sometimes a doctor's 'last option' is all he knows - or even what he wants to do.

When I hear the words 'tried everything' I always wonder whether the 'everything' that has been tried were really the right thing(s) for that particular person'e particular case of PF, based on an accurate diagnosis of the causes. Were the shoes the right shoes (the wrong ones can cause a lot of trouble)? Were the orthotics properly casted and correctly made? even if they were the right things, how long were they tried for? There is at least one thing you haven't tried: ESWT.

And there is one more thing you haven't tried, and I think it may be the most important. Change your job, or at least your duties. Standing all day is one of the most frequent causes of PF. Continuing to stand all day makes PF extremely difficult to cure. If you have surgery, you will be losing the main supporting structure of your foot - standing all day may become impossible.

I am very sorry if this scares you. But you really need to do more thinking and more research before you opt for the knife. Now that you have told us that you do a standing job, I would urge you strongly to put off the surgery and seek at least one more opinion.

Re: scared to death

christyw on 8/13/04 at 09:48 (157745)

I forgot to tell you that this is my second opinion. I just recently switched doctors also. As far as the shoes go, the podiatrist sent me to a place called Pacers and Racers and they specialize in finding shoes for your problems. They watch you walk and try to help. They pick out the best shoe for you. Thanks for responding. With the ESWT, they want to try that but my insurance is being a pain. They say it will take 30 days to find out if they will pay for it and then they could deny it. My feet have just gotten so bad that it is a rough decision. Thanks alot for all of your help.

Re: scared to death

Susan S on 8/13/04 at 10:03 (157746)

You can always reschedule the surgery later. But once you've had the surgery it can't be undone.

It sounds like all the standing you have to do at work could be the main cause of your feet feeling so bad. With all that standing, probably all the treatments wouldn't do much good because your feet can't rest at all.

I would consider looking into retraining at a community college perhaps for a job that doesn't require standing. I have had PF for 2 years, but my ability to work has not been impacted at all because I have a sit-down job. This makes the urgency less for major measures such as surgery. There are a lot of interesting careers out there and you're young.

The best of luck to you,

Re: scared to death

john h on 8/13/04 at 10:51 (157748)

Christy I am by no means a medical expert. I have had surgery which in itself was a fast pain free ordeal. From the many medical articles I have read if I was having surgery to release the fascia I would go to a Doctor who used the minimally invasive technique and definitely not the endoscopic procedure. I have read numberous articles indicating that nerve damage can occur as the endoscope is inserted into the foot. Two local Podiatrist I saw in Little Rock both at one time used the endocope for surgery and both have gone to minimal invasive type surgery. The other big question you should have on your mind if you have surgery is do you have the entire fascia released or a partial release. Dr.Zuckerman does a partial release and Dr. Ed does a full release (I think). I have never seen the stats on whether one is better than the other. There is also a third option which I chose and that is surgery using the Baxter Procedure where only about 10% of the fasica is released. Chances are high that with this procedured you will not have any bad results or loss of foot stability. Once again I do not know which of these three procedures might produce the best result for you. I chose the Baxter Procedure because it was least likely to make me worse. I was not cured but I am no worse. Maybe a little better. Typically only an MD Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon will perform a Baxter Procedure as not many people are trained in this. I have seen a lot of post from people who have had PF for two years who found a cure. The reasons for their cure were varied. You did not mention ESWT. I would sure give this non invasive procedure a try. You have several machines to choose from and it does not hurt.Do not rush to surgery. Finding the right Doctor is everything. Finding the right diagnosis is everything. I suspect that if you have PF and you are on your feet all the time you will have a tough time finding a cure. Good luck.

Re: scared to death

Marty from SLC on 8/13/04 at 13:07 (157761)

Cast, ESWT and new job come to mine. I know the new job is really radical for most though but if you got a sit down job maybe within a year or so you could overcome this. How active are you determines allot too. If you say are still running or something like that it's going to tough to overcome. How many doctors have you tried?

As far as surgery goes I have had it over 1.5 years ago and still suffering from it. Would I do it again? In my case yes, I was at the bottom of the pit in my opinion. Even though it's taking so long to recover I don't believe I have any other roads to take. It's kind of like those who say are conjoined twins, do they live their lives they way they are or undergo surgery and risk it all - death to some. I know that's extreme but it's the best I can do. LOL

Good Luck


Re: scared to death

april l on 8/13/04 at 14:58 (157768)

I understand feeling scared. I was too the second time doing surgery because by then I had found this site and had heard about other people's experiences. I know it's a difficult decision and one only you can make. Remember, if you go through with surgery it doesn't mean you will be pain free right away. Another month to think it over is really insignificant if you are in doubt. I think switching careers is a good idea and something I am in the process of doing even tho my surgeries were successful. Standing on your feet all day is hard on anyone's feet.

Re: scared to death

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/13/04 at 14:58 (157769)


It has been a few months since I have done a full release since the success rate with ESWT has been so high. Those who have not had complete success with ESWT have, at least, brought their level of discomfort down to the point that they will not consider surgery.

By the way, we, a long time ago discussed the possibility of surgically lengthening the fascia instead of cutting it and I stated that that was not possible. I have been thinking about this for a long time and am reconsidering that it MAY be possible. The residents I am teaching have some cadavers they are working on and I am going to test a novel approach that may allow the fascia to lengthen. If this works, yet another alternative may exist....stay tuned...

Keep in mind that the fascia is a strut that supports the foot so even lengthening it, while sounding like a good idea, has the potential to have complications in that we are shifting workload from fascia to other structures so adaptation time is needed. It boggles my mind to see that the are those getting EPFs but no casts or supportive devices to allow the foot to adapt to the loss of the fascia. EPF's are a rare procedure in the Northwest as many of us feel it is not superior (possibly inferior) to classical open or minimal incision techniques. It may carry a higher reimbursement rate.....let me say no more.... that is a whole other story.

Re: scared to death

kjj on 8/13/04 at 15:14 (157771)


Re: scared to death

John King on 8/14/04 at 14:52 (157861)

I stood all day as a postal worker and now my feet are very painful all the time even when I am resing. You are young enough to find another career that does not require standing. I stood for 20 years with bouts of pain until my feet are just worn out.

Re: scared to death

Pauline on 8/14/04 at 20:43 (157902)

Dr. Ed,
How do you stretch or lengthen a stiffen cadaver plantar fascia and compare it to that of living tissue?

Re: scared to death

JCleve on 8/14/04 at 22:29 (157919)

i agree with you I'm a postal worker of 20 years, with painful feet. At the rate of the economy I'll more than likely continue to be a postal worker with bad feet. Thanks, It just good to hear that I'm not alone....JCleve

Re: scared to death

Ed Davis, DPM on 8/21/04 at 14:21 (158511)


There are two types of cadavers, those that are preserved with formaldehyde at room temperature and the tissues are stiffened and 'fresh' cadavers that are kept frozen and only thawed for doing procedures on. We use the latter. The fresh ones have tissue that is not too different than living people.

Keep in mind that the classical methods for lengthening a tendon could be performed on either type of cadaver. The fascia is not a tendon but rather an aponeurosis that acts like a strut. Unlike a tendon that glides freely, the plantar fascia adheres to muscle and that is the dilemna with 'classical' techniques applied to a lengthening. That is why I have to come up with a novel and new approach. I have not 'solved' the problem yet but here is a clue to what I am thinking. I envision not touching the fascia that is adherent to the underlying muscle but basically lenghtening a 'layer' of it that has been 'teased' apart from the adherent portion and only lengthening that portion. Stay tuned for more details as I work on the solution. Invariably, even this 'solution' may be a bit too traumatic and not practical so coming up with a minimally traumatic approach is part of the solution...

Re: scared to death

Lisa I on 8/24/04 at 15:53 (158633)

If you have not had the EPF surgery, PLEASE think it through and make sure the Dr. knows what he is doing. I had the surgery and ended up with BAD RESULTS. I dont want to scare you but I am disabled now from the disease RSD which developed because of this surgery. My Dr. messed up and I have structural and nerve damage as well. You will probably be fine, but Please learn about RSD and watch for symptoms ok? Best of luck, Lisa

Re: scared to death

christyw on 8/24/04 at 17:02 (158636)

I have had the surgery. A week ago today. Everything seems fine so far and the doctor said everything went well. You can read some of the other things I posted on here if you want to know how I am doing. What are the symptoms of RSD and did you know right away that you had it? Tell me about your surgery and how did you feel after you had it done. Where you pain free at all. I want to know all about it if you don't mind. I go in on Sept. 8th to have my right foot done. After surgery were you in a cast? I would like to know if every doctor does the same thing. I believe that I have a really good doctor. He was my second opinion and he has really tried to help me compared with my first doctor. I have suffered with PF for 2 years and everytime I had to miss work because I couldn't stand my first doctor would not even write me an excuse. It was a different story with my second doctor. He is very understanding. I am very pleased with him and for now everything is good with my foot. I know the main thing is going to be when I get out of the cast and walking boot and go back to work is when I will see the results of weather it worked or not. Thanks for the advice. Please let me know anything else that you feel is important.


Re: To Christy scared to death

Pauline on 8/24/04 at 20:08 (158645)

My question is based on one of the sentences you wrote ' I know the main thing is going to be when I get out of the cast and walking boot and go back to work is when I will see the results of weather it worked or not'.

After reading Lisa's account of her foot surgery and then your sentence it really makes me wonder why you would not wait before having your second surgery until as you say 'see' whether it worked or not.

I hope and pray that the decision you're making work out. This site has seen enough failed surgeries for a life time and it's unfortunate for those that are only seeking pain relief to have outcomes similar to Lisa's.

Wishing you the very best outcome. I think everyone here shares my wish for you. Good luck with # two.

Re: To Christy scared to death

christyw on 8/24/04 at 23:11 (158650)

I know what you are saying and I have thought about waiting. My doctor says if they are both hurting(which they were really bad)then he suggests going on with the second one. It is really a tough decision. I figured I would go ahead with it since I really need to get back to work and at my job I have been there less than a year and I don't really think they are going to keep letting me off work for all these surgeries without getting 'canned' lol. I also have to have my tonsils out in Febuaury. I don't want to lose my job and jobs are not easy to come by right now. I have just had such a hard time with this and have been in pain for 2 years now so I have to do something and just hope for the best. Thanks for the advice. Have you had the surgery? If so let me know how yours went.

Re: To Christy scared to death

Julie on 8/25/04 at 02:27 (158654)

Christy, please listen to what Pauline and others have been saying to you, and defer your second surgery until you are really sure that the first one has been successful. You will not know that for at least six months (whatever your doctor says) and perhaps a year. 'Trying something and hoping for the best' is not a very good option, because you could be left a good deal worse off that you are now. You know the saying 'jumping out of the frying pan into the fire'. It applies to foot surgery. Just the other day there was a post by Rose, who had surgery a year ago and has now developed a new problem and new pain (probably lateral column syndrome) resulting from the surgery. Cutting the plantar fascia removes the foot's main supporting structure, and even so-called 'successful' surgery has resulted in additional problems down the line for many. Has your doctor mentioned this possibility, and taken steps to avoid it? Has he casted you or is he going to cast you for orthotics to replace the lost support?

Foot surgery is unique: our feet are the only part of our body that we walk on, so they are difficult to heal. No other body part takes that kind of punishment.

Scared to death can sometimes be a useful state of mind: it can keep you from jumping into the fire, from jumping into surgery.

I hav rarely said anything to lead anyone to question the competence of his or her treating doctor, but I'm going to now. I have been thinking ever since your first post that your doctor's airy confidence about EPF surgery is not confidence-inspiring. It is worrying. The doctors here have made it very clear over the four years I have been reading these boards that they do not think EPF is a good option. Please, please be careful, and at least get another opinion.

If you do decide to take our advice and wait, I suggest that when you go back to work you may be able to relieve the pain in the foot you haven't had surgery on by taping. In the heel pain book part 2 there are instructions for a very simple, effective technique. I found it extremely helpful when I had PF. Taping works because it takes over the job of supporting the foot which the injured plantar fascia cannot do. I think you would find it helpful to investigate it and try it.

Re: To Christy scared to death

Pauline on 8/25/04 at 08:50 (158661)

I think at this point all that can be said has been said. If I had one wish I'd have Christy go back and follow Tammie's life since having her P.F. surgery.

What started as a simple 'snip and go' P.F. release turned her life into a living hell. Here is just one of her respones to a fellow poster. If you recall Tammie went from having P.F. surgery to TTS surgery to ending up with R.S.D. her history is here for all to read and as she says herself 'learn from it'.

Re: Surgery next? View Thread
Posted by Tammie on 7/28/03 at 23:29

Rick Please Think about that second surgery! It didnt work the first time You said although if I read right you said it was this last May? If so that is not very long for you healing as it can take up to 6 months or a yr at that not a good reason to jump into another surgery! I am telling you this because if you search back on my name you will see that I to had the surgery for the heel spur and the pf release and no not work to well so they went back in thinking it was a nerve compressed and guess what? I now have RSD and most of my Dr.s who have DX me have told me they feel I had it before my second surgery . Not being able to examin me tho they could not tell me positivly but there feelings on what I had described told them enough that they felt they should have not done the surgery and they should have done some testing such as perhaps a MRI a Nerve testing More PT even But not more surgery .

It is not my decision to make for you but If I could change your mind slightly I would tell you to run like the wind and find some other Dr.s and search for the ones who tell you it has not been that long to heal! Rick a few months may make a big difference in the rest of your life ,Really get some other dr.s thoughts take the time it is really worth it learn from my mistakes. I know have a spinal stimulaator in dealing with RSD this started out with me having a heel spur and pf surgery DR told me no troubles be back in shoes in 10 days whatever and it went into another surgery and then my nightmare began leading into a fianl dx of RSD so please dont rush the surgery , take the time find other dr.s You need to question WHY it didnt work anyways dont you? Good Luck to what ever you do!

Message Number 125346

Re: To Christy scared to death

Julie on 8/25/04 at 10:56 (158672)

Yes, Pauline - it has all been said. And I believe, as I know you do, in supporting people in the decisions they've made once they've made them. But. It breaks my heart when I see another Tammie situation taking shape, so I keep repeating myself. I hope Christy will research Tammie's story. And I hope she will be luckier than Tammie, and luckier than others we've seen come and go here.

Re: To Christy scared to death

april l on 8/25/04 at 12:24 (158679)

I do understand why you guys want to inform christy about the possibility of complications that can lead to worse trouble. The thing is, there are always possible complications with ANY surgery, does that mean everyone should stop having surgery? Personally, I wouldn't rush into a second surgery until the first one was deemed a success, but I understand why she wants to get the ball rolling on the second surgery. It takes a long time to heal. It's not a snip and go surgery, true. I am so glad I had my surgeries...I spent all my time at Disney World in 1996 in a wheelchair! No conservative treatments worked for me. Now I am back to living a normal life and able to walk pain free. I just want christy to know that there is hope, but 6 months from now if there is still pain it does not mean the surgery was a failure.

Re: To Christy scared to death

christyw on 8/25/04 at 18:47 (158699)

Thank you for all your advice.

Re: Hi I am that Tammie

Tammie on 9/04/04 at 01:29 (159263)

I just happen to visit tonight as I cannot sleep as usual, and thought I might see how my friends here are doing. I was sad to read that Christy you sound so very much like I did two years ago! Gosh is it that long already , it seems as tho it was yesterday still.What was to be a 'simple' surgery and have me back in tennis shoes in ten days and my life would return to normal, turned into the worse nightmare that anyone could ever imagine and I still haven't woke up as it continues each day.

I thought I made the right choices also And maybe I did , for the first surgery but if to do over again , I swear I would not let a sharp object near my foot again at least very doubtful and NEVERNEVER tarsal tunnel Sorry but I see a pain management and each time there are so many of us there and seems like so many are related to things gone wrong in that type of surgery or after that . There is so many things that COULD cause RSD of course but then there are down right signs that good Dr.s who know what they are looking for should know what they are and when there is more pain that is considered NORMAL or wayyyy out of proportion to the injury or surgury it means stopppp no more surgury find out whyyyyy first. Before your life turns into a brutal nightmare with a sad ending.

I was like you worried to get back to work, loved my job went back with pain still there worked a few months if , and now I will most likly never work again in my life. If I can keep walking will be the challenge of my time now. I have spreadage, I have had a spinal stimulator put in 5 or so revision surguries on it, several meds and my currant ones I am unable to drive do much of anything due to pain my toes are like curling under now and loosing muscle in leg and foot looks verry odd. No dear if it were me I would stop now and see how this goes take that time to heal you have to have surgery in feb right? Well give yourself time to heal the see maybe things will be better then? Can take a year to heal and give it that much time dont jump before the time. If your foot is super sensitive massage it if you feel the pain is much more then reasonable and your dr. seems worried aske him about RSD or CRPS there is always no shame into another Dr.s thoughts also always better safe then sorry later. No rush there is all the time as if it would turn out like mine you wouldnt be worrying about returning to any job a year or so later, as you wouldnt be able to . Getting SSD is not fun either it is degrading and very difficult when you look normal one minute and then the next in pain or symptoms of the rsd it is hard for most people to see. I have been put threw a small heck of my own dealing with people and lawyers and getting ready to see a judge and prove to him I cant work.

You live a life on narcotics and several other meds to go along with other symptoms of RSD and then the emotional aspects as well you end up with a couple of the antidepressants.I am only telling you this gruesome details not to get piety or anything like this it is to show you or anyone just what it could mean if YOU decide to be cut and it is the wrong DR or if the DR. really makes a mistake or you push to do things before they really have tried everything possible. Even consider getting some help with pain such as seeing a pain management Dr. while being treated for foot troubles if it is that painful and lack of sleep and such and you have the DR> who does not think you need anything you are a baby kinda DR. PLEASE I do ask you all to really think before the surgeries. I am NOT against all surgery or surgeons I think YOU have to research and I really mean research the Dr.s and the procedures they wish to do and the good and bad and ask what they shall do if it does not work and all questions you can think of first!

That was something I learned later much later I ran into some ladies that had seen same Dr. as I had and guess what? They had foot problems also he liked to jump into surgery and tell you he did everything he could , yada yada. The wife of his also a Dr. was supposed to be the best she did the non surgical methods right after I left there and she was known to have a attitude but latter was found she grew tired of fixing her husbands botched foot jobs. To bad couldnt have got this info 2 yrs ago. So asking around does help! Pain managements in area were helpful in this case I would have not thought of that.Please dont be offended I only stopped to give my story a update and to allow someone to hopefully not be in my place it is very lonely but I dont want to have any more company lol You need to get healthy and enjoy them feet and please tell all those you know take care you only get one set! My family says I would be good for a comercial as I tell everyone and watch everynes shoes and how they walk .
Good luck if you ned anything post and use my name I will get it !

Re: To Christy scared to death

Tammie on 9/04/04 at 01:51 (159264)

April , no disrespect , but maybe I am one of the reasons people want to warn others and there are many other me's here. Yes some have been successfull and that is great! But there are those who were not and those need to be told also! I think everyone here is great anyways they support anyone no matter what there decision is! They were there for me! Thank fully. Also this is called a elective surgery I beleive and that to makes a difference! If you were like me you might feel a whole lot different! I cant help feeling a bit jelouse that I cant be in your place saying how happy I am . I think that is all that was meant.I hope you understand that I mean no harm or disrespect to you or anyone I am not a person such as that and I only stopped as I had something in my email and I hadnt been on so long and decided to drop in. Take care I am glad you are doing well tho congra.

Re: Hi Tammie!

Julie on 9/04/04 at 02:01 (159266)

It's good to see you here. I am so glad that you wrote your post, and I hope that Christy reads it and thinks about it.

Regarding your second post to April, no-one who knows you and has followed your story from the beginning would think anything but good of you. People do need to know the 'whole story' and there is a great deal to it. Your side of it is extremely important. People need to know how important it is to do their research, and avoid surgery if at all possible.

You have learned so much over these years, from your experience. I know you wish you hadn't had to learn it all so painfully, that you'd rather be back at the job you loved so much. But through sharing it here, you have helped others. You can be proud of that.

Don't be such a stranger - do look in now and then. We're glad to see you.

All the best,


Re: Hi I am that Tammie

Pauline on 9/04/04 at 10:29 (159282)

Something you mentioned in your post caught my eye and I wonder if you'd expand or comment on it. Do you have any idea how many patients at your pain clinic developed their problem following a type of foot surgery or several foot surgeries? I think this would be an interesting fact to find out. Maybe your doctor could even give you a sense of the number of cases that started there.

Re: Hi Tammie!

Pauline on 9/04/04 at 10:35 (159284)

I think Tammie's timing to post was perfect and maybe it was meant especially for Christy who's second surgery is comming up pretty fast. I was wondering if she had changed her mind yet. Hopefully after reading Tammie's post she will really reconsider things. We know all too well the nightmare that entered Tammie's life after a so call simple surgery.

Re: To Christy scared to death

april l on 9/04/04 at 10:40 (159285)

Tammie, as I said I DO understand why people want to warn others about the possible complications from surgery. I've been around this board for about a year and a half and I did read your story and it made me really think hard about having the surgery. Thank you and all the others who tell the reality of having surgery cos my first doctor did not do that! I was very naive to what could and did happen because I trusted my doctor and didn't research. He told me having surgery was a guaranteed 100% cure to my PF! Now isn't that nuts! And I was so stupid and believed him. I suffered tremendously afterwards because my expectations weren't met at all. It took a long time to recover...no one told me that it would. I did recover and went on to have another surgery that was also successful. I don't mean any disrespect to you either, but I'm here to help people who decide to go with surgery and tell them my experience so they know that when they are still hurting months after that it's common and not to panic like I did when a week after surgery I was in pain still. I do not wish to flaunt my successful surgeries to hurt those who are suffering still. I hope that I am not coming across like that, Tammie, because I know there are many other stories like yours and I am fortunate that i didn't get RSD. The thing about this board is that people who have had successful surgeries usually don't need to come here and tell their experience. I think it makes for an unbalanced view of surgery outcomes. The only reason I stay is for those people who had surgery and are in pain and thinking it was a failure after only a short time. 7 yrs ago I wish I had this place and someone who could have told me that recovery is a long and frustrating process.

Re: To Julie

april l on 9/04/04 at 10:52 (159286)

I do think good of Tammie and know her story. And I agree that people need to know the whole story regarding these surgeries. That's exactly why I posted. It seems most people here are against surgery. People are suffering like I did and surgery can help. True that the reality is that it doesn't always help and can make things worse. It just seemed to me that everyone was telling christy not to do it, not just informing her but telling advising her to cancel.

Re: To April

Julie on 9/04/04 at 11:11 (159288)


When I post to anyone, I always try to talk to that particular person, taking into account everything I know about the situation - and the person - from what has been said. There was little doubt in my mind that Christy did not know what she was letting herself in for in going for surgery in the first place, let alone a second surgery so soon after the first, particularly EPF surgery, which does not have a very good success rate, and particularly with a doctor who - to me - sounded cavalier in his airy confidence. So the most important thing seemed to make the pitfalls very clear, and advise her to step back and think, and not rush into anything.

If I were talking to someone who appeared to have a clearer idea of what is involved, I would speak differently.

Once the damage is done, it is done - witness Tammie, the start of whose journey was too much like Christy's for comfort. Some of us 'advised' her over and over again to be careful and she has several times said she regrets not having listened. She was in a hurry to be painfree and get back to work - just like Christy. And she had the same sort of doctor.

It's not a question of 'right or wrong' but of the individual and his or her circumstances - and knowledge.

I am glad your surgery has been successful and I wish you continued improvement. Do take on board what the doctors and Richard have said: once the main supporting structure of the foot has been removed or weakened, additional support (i.e. orthoses) is usually essential.

Re: To April

april l on 9/04/04 at 11:29 (159290)

Julie, ok I see your point and agree that it seemed christy did not know what she was getting herself into.

What exactly is the real success rate of EPF? My doctor (second one) said the success rate is 90%. I've heard people on here say that that is just not true. I'm wondering what the truth is.

Re: To April

Julie on 9/04/04 at 11:42 (159291)


Glad you see my point. Regarding the success rate of EPF, if you want exact figures you should ask Dr Ed or Dr Z about this - try on the Ask the Doctor board.

Re: To April

Pauline on 9/04/04 at 11:45 (159292)

An added note. If you can't wear the orthotics what do you turn to next.
The structure has already been cut.

Tammie's story is probably the worse I've read about on this site. She had the 'snowballing' surgeries that we warn about. Like many she couldn't afford to put her life on hold, lose her job, and not care for her family, but when all was said and done those very things that were important and of concern to her came to pass along with her paying the very high price of being in constant and continual pain.

I agree with Julie because I too felt that Cindy's doctor was a little tooooo eager to get her surgeries done and over with. My first thought why all the rush, when he knows the possibility of Tammie's results are a reality.

Tis better to know the worse, expect the best and not rush into any surgery unless it's a life threatening situation. I'd much rather see Cindy have one foot totally healed before she has the other done, but that's her choice not ours anymore.

Re: To April

Julie on 9/04/04 at 11:54 (159296)


Yes, that's true. I have been lucky with orthotics, but others haven't. It's too bad that we can't always have the best-case scenario: a skilled podiatrist or cped who knows how to cast, and prescribe, and construct orthotics that are absolutely right for the individual. But it seems we don't.

Yes, Tammie's story is the worst, and the saddest. I always have her in mind when people in Christy's situation post. It worries me terribly. Those of us who have been around for several years have built up a multilayered picture of the 'feet scene' which people new to the boards don't have the advantage of. I too hope Christy waits, does her research, and makes a good decision.

But you know, the thing that worried me more than anything else in this case is that the doctor did NOT seem to know about the possibility of a bad result. 'Snip and go', as you've often put it: that's how he looked at it. And then snip and go again, in a couple of weeks. And then all is well, back to weight-bearing and normal activities, fully cured forever.

I wish!

Re: To April

april l on 9/04/04 at 12:56 (159298)

I don't wear orthotics. I have not needed them, nor has my doctor ever said that I should have them except prior to the surgery. I may be wrong but my understanding of EPF is that the fascia is partially cut and then heals with scar tissue resulting in a lengthened fascia. I still have support, that support is not removed. Before surgery my fascia was definitely weakened and injured constantly.

Re: To April

Julie on 9/04/04 at 18:35 (159339)

April: the doctors here, and Richard, have all said on various occasions that support is needed after surgery to replace the support that has been lost when the fascia has been cut. One of the problems that can result further down the line is lateral column syndrome, which several posters have developed.

Perhaps I have misunderstood, or perhaps this is not the case with the particular type of surgery you have had: why don't you ask them? I am not a doctor, as you know: only trying to pass on information that I have gathered from reading the doctors' advice to others.

Re: For Tammie

christyw on 9/06/04 at 15:28 (159423)

I don't think I have seen your post on here about your surgery. can you tell me about it? How long did it take before you knew that it wasn't successful? So far everything has been good for me. I don't have hardly any pain.

Thanks alot

Re: scared to death - RSD

Pat on 9/11/04 at 20:23 (159754)

What exactly is RSD and what symptoms do you have as a result of the surgery?

Re: scared to death

Crystal on 9/12/04 at 10:09 (159783)

I worked retail standing on my feet for 4 years. I was 22 when I had the surgery and overall, my foot is better. But, you must do streches on your foot to avoid more scar tissue. I had the surgery back in Dec. 2003. Really, the only problem I have had in result is scar tissue on my heel, which is partially my fault because I did not continue therapy after the surgery like I should have, and my arch is flatter, BUT, my arch was flattening before the surgery due to the strain of my foot. I still have an arch, but when I step on it my foot flattens a bit. I am also OVERWEIGHT, so that does not help my foot. My therapist and I are doing exercises to strengthen my arch and decrease my scar tissue. My doctor said I had the worst heel spur thing he had ever seen and I was definitly a candidate for surgery. Therapy did not help before the surgery because my problem was very VERY bad. If I would have not gotten the foot surgery, I can tell you that therapy would not have helped because the spur/inflammation part was so large. Sorry if I do not sound 'politically correct' in my explanation of whatever you call the anatomy of the foot. I would suggest your doctor do an ultrasound on your foot, and see how bad the spur area/PF of your foot is. Hope this helps.