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looking for hope

Posted by Cathy G. on 10/17/04 at 13:02 (161677)

I just had bilateral ESWT on Fri.
I have been a nurse for 18yrs. and have been treated for plantar fascitis on and off since then. I have worn orthotics for that time. I have tried acupuncture and rolfing with little results. This summer, i broke down and received 3 cortisone shots that did not help.
I have had acute phases ( usually related to Irish Dancing which I have not been able to do for the past 6 yrs) and the past 2 yrs have been a daily struggle with heel pain.
So Friday was a big day for me. The procedure was not too bad, and the doctor told me to rest on the weekend, but that I may return to work on Monday. I am scared because my feet are sore, and the right heel still hurts(it was the worst area). I am so afraid of having pain 'forever', and not being able to work.
Any guidance appreciated

Re: looking for hope

Dr. Z on 10/17/04 at 14:49 (161686)

Hi Kathy
This is something that is hard for me to help you with due to not seeing your foot or my inability to know your specific work duries. IF you can take time off for at least another week that would be my common sense advice. If you must go to work. Taping,supportive shoes. nite splint heat can be helpful.

Re: looking for hope

melinda s on 10/17/04 at 15:05 (161689)

There is hope...Physical Therapy...one that knows how to treat this disorder with ultra sound, heat packs, stretching...you may have calcium deposits and scar tissue built up in the heels..until it is massaged out of there with treatment...it will not get any better, and will stay inflammed...M

Re: looking for hope

Lynn F. on 10/17/04 at 18:50 (161701)

Dr. Z - I developed severe PF literally one day walking around NY city. It may have been long coming, but it came on very sudden. I've seen 3 different pod's (had injections, taping, anti-inflammatory meds, etc). I am 16 days post-ESWT (Dornier Epos Ultra) and having unbelievable pain, some days even moreso than pre-ESWT. I don't work and keep off it as much as possible. I saw my pod last week, he taped foot and said to keep stretching and wearing orthotics (I find stretching causes pain, as do my orthotics, which are quite rigid). He suggests a night splint (I recently purchased a Thermoskin wrap with strap that pulls toes forward, didn't help). Both my pod and ESWT tech told me repeat treatment is very unlikely. My question is.. how much time do I allow before pursuing further treatment (ie. getting an MRI, or even finding yet another dr?)
I'm concerend the pain may be a sign of further damage. Thanks for so much help (and hope) to so many here!

Re: looking for hope

Dr. Z on 10/17/04 at 19:14 (161704)


If you e-mail me at (email removed) I would be very happy to give me some advice. I will explain the why if you e-mail Dr.Z

Re: looking for hope

Cathy G. on 10/18/04 at 07:53 (161718)

Thank you, I will try the stretching and I do use a night splint on the worse of the two feet. I work 3 12hr shifts. I will try to rest as I can.
At night I have been using a golf ball to massage my feet, and that seems to help a little.
Someone also recommended wearing magnetic insoles on top of my orthotics. Any thoughts on that?
And what about switching types of orthotics(I have customized, plus a variety of others)?
Thanks to all.

Re: looking for hope

Cathy G. on 10/18/04 at 21:12 (161755)

I am worried, too, because people who have had only one yr of pf have had ESWT with ongoing pain. Does that mean that 18+ yrs of pf decreases the chance of it working?
I am walking around scared to take a step. I have switched types of shoes throughout the day, as my rigid custom made orthotics hurt the most. The other shoes I am trying are birkenstock clogs, and dansko clogs, and new balance sneakers with cork (I think isoarch brand) inserts.
Now, my fear is worse than the actual pain, which is less than pre-eswt, which was only 3 days ago :), so I am going to try and relax.
I am grateful for Scott's booklet on heel pain. I was doing squats to strengthen my legs all summer, and now I read that is a no no.
Thanks to all who contribute to these boards, for hope

Re: looking for hope

Tina H on 10/19/04 at 07:16 (161770)

Cathy, I'm certainly not a doctor but my doctor told me one of her most rewarding cases of using ESWT was an older woman who has suffered with pf for more than 25 years and she was cured. I really think my doctor was sincere. She really had no financial incentive to fabricate stories for me because she had already offered me the ESWT at her approximate cost of $500 because my insurance didn't cover it. I think her point was to say that ESWT works best on old, chronic pf, not relatively new, acute pf.

Re: looking for hope

Cathy G. on 10/20/04 at 07:24 (161827)

Wow. Thanks so much.

Re: looking for hope- 21 days post

Lori S. on 10/21/04 at 01:37 (161873)

I am 21 days post ESTW - both feet. For me, the first 10 days were very mild, tho I also wasnt on my feet hardly at all. When I did anything like say, go to the grocery store, my feet hurt alot. So, I decided I needed to do the bare minimum. Very little pain , though it did increase a little more each day. The last five days I have had a significant increase in pain, but I am still pleased. Before I was in serious pain every day, all day and night. My other tendons in my feet are irritated, doc has told me to try to stay off them a little more. I have been getting more active, because I felt better, and now I have to go back to less active. Guess it was my first set back.
I personally do not know how people go back to work after this. Course maybe its because my feet were in really bad shape compared to others , I dont know. I did notice, going to the store is a big no-no. (Yes, I ride in the little carts there now). Because after a couple trips to the store and my feet starting to hurt so bad i felt sick, or like passing out... I think maybe its because of the concrete floors?... thats my theory anyways.

This is part of the healing process. I have been suffering with pf for 3 years. If you can, I would try to take some time off and really baby your feet. I still pick up around the house, do stretches, cook. But I leave things like dishes to my kids/hubby,,,, because I dont want to stand for long periods of time.

I run daycare in my home. The people I babysit for know I have had this done...LOL and understand the house may look like the toy box threw-up all over the place until i am healed. The kids have toys everywhere by the end of the day. It is something I am learning to live with for the time being. (It used to drive me crazy,,, to have them strewn all over the place) Now I save it for my family to help with, if my feet are bad.

I hope you find relief soon. ESTW takes time. I did notice however, for me, heat really helps with pain. Both wet and dry heat. My doc also said he would like me to use heat, as it increases circulation. And my doc also gave me pain meds, which I take when its really bad.

Best wishes,

Re: looking for hope

Teresa on 10/21/04 at 20:24 (161939)

Tina, I had Ossotron treatment on my heels which did help a lot, but not completely. The Dr. recommended a second treatment, but my insurance won't pay for it. I'd pay for it myself if I could get it for $500. Where was that done? Did they put you under a general anesthetic for that price?
I've had this pain for over twelve years and I'd so love to get completely rid of it. Thanks

Re: looking for hope

Tina H on 10/21/04 at 21:24 (161944)

Teresa, I live in the Pittsburgh area. If you want to, email me directly at (email removed) and I'll give you the name of my doctor. The machine used was the Dornier, and it was done in the office with shots of local anes.

Re: looking for hope

Bev B. on 10/23/04 at 23:33 (162042)

I am going for shockwave therapy for heel spurs on Monday,25th ans am really worried about the shots to deaden my feet. My doc said he would give me 2 in each ankle in order to block 2 nerves. Is this what you had? How painful was it? Thank you!!!

Re: looking for hope

jeannie m on 10/24/04 at 09:11 (162054)

the whole procedure was pretty painless to me. I didn't think the shots were bad. Not to worry!!!Good Luck!!!!

Re: looking for hope

Bev B. on 10/25/04 at 17:58 (162138)

Thanks for the info....but as it turned out, I am trying some alternative things first and it is quite a regimen.But I think I can be consistent with it all. My doctor is at Emory Clinic in Atlanta and he said that if I stick with the regimen, the success rate is as great as with shockwave. But if the results aren't what I want in 8 weeks, then shockwave will be an option again. So thanks for the encouragemnt in case I do have to go that route!!! Good luck for your continued recovery!

Re: looking for hope to Bev

Tina H on 10/26/04 at 07:23 (162162)

Bev, good decision. Would you share that 'regimen' with us, as maybe their is something we can try also. Always looking for new angles to attack this problem! Thanks, Tina

Re: looking for hope

Cathy G. on 10/26/04 at 08:41 (162166)

Dr. Z, I am 11 days post ESWT now. I understand that there should be soreness, esp. since I have to work 3 12 hr shifts during the week(I am a nurse, and not able to get off). I do rest and stretch. And deep massage of my calves seems to help. But I still have discomfort in that spot that is on the medial side of the foot directly in front of the heel-it is pointed out in Scott's pamplet as a common area of pain for pf. If I still have pain in this site, instead of overall achiness, does that signify a failed ESWT? Or is it still to early to tell?
thank you