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

Why do drs not remove heel spurs anymore?

Posted by Donnag on 11/29/04 at 13:41 (164855)

I have had pf for 1 & 1/2 years. It just does not ever get well. I used to power walk 2 miles a day and now cannot walk more than a few blocks without 'paying' for it later. I have had older people tell me that they had heel spurs removed years ago and that took care of their heel pain. Permanently. Why don't they remove heel spurs today? I understand that the pf is swollen and enflamed, but if the spur presses on the pf every time I take a step, it seems that it could contribute to keeping it swollen and enflamed. Am I totally off on thinking this?

Re: Why do drs not remove heel spurs anymore?

Dr. Z on 11/29/04 at 14:43 (164862)

Donna,
It is the cutting of the plantar fascia that is causing the pain. It is called plantar fasciosis. This is a condition when the plantar fascia is degenerative and not inflamed. Today we are using ESWT in place of all types of plantar fascia surgery with or without spur removal. Remember there are risks with foot surgery so try to avoid it. The spur isn't a sharp piece of bone that is pressing on the tendon, nerve. It is a calcification at the fascia bone junction.

Re: Why do drs not remove heel spurs anymore?

Pat on 11/29/04 at 16:31 (164877)

I just had EPF surgery and removal of the heel spur. I think in my case it was a little different because I have some neurological problems that prevent me from stretching things out as much as I need to so they clipped the spur at the same time. I don't think the heel spur is the problem and that's why they don't do it most of the time but there are reasons and some doctors that do it.

Re: Why do drs not remove heel spurs anymore?

Dr. Z on 11/29/04 at 16:37 (164879)

Pat,
Just curious? How did they remove heel spur( bone) thru a scope. I have only seen the fascia cut with an EPF procedure.

Re: Why do drs not remove heel spurs anymore?

Pat on 11/29/04 at 18:17 (164888)

I'm not sure exactly what the procedure was called - mainly because I lost the paper he wrote it on. When we were discussing what was going to be done I really just wanted to know the basics because 10 years ago when I had the foot surgery from hell I knew all about it and to tell you the truth I didn't want to hear it again. I do know that they removed the heel spur because he took x-rays after it to show me that he removed it and it was gone.

Re: Why do drs not remove heel spurs anymore?

Dr. Z on 11/29/04 at 20:12 (164915)

Pat,

On the rare occasions that I do heel spur surgery. I like to remove the spur and cut the plantar fascia

Re: Why do drs not remove heel spurs anymore?

Donnag on 11/29/04 at 21:41 (164922)

Dr.Z, thank you for answering my question. In my mind, I was thinking that the spur would be hard (like a bone). I am just grasping at straws. My first Dr. had orthotics made for me, but after 7 months of no improvement, I sought out another Dr. Now, 14 months later, still no improvement. This condition is very frustrating. My walking helped me to lose 30 lbs, but I am struggling to keep it off since I cannot power walk. I do have an recumbent bicycle that I continue to use 5 days a week but it is definately not like walking. Thanks for letting me vent.

Re: Why do drs not remove heel spurs anymore?

Dr. Z on 11/30/04 at 00:57 (164930)

Hi
There are really two options at this point in time. Surgery or ESWT. Read about the risks and benefits of both. If you need information let me know.

Re: Why do drs not remove heel spurs anymore?

Pat on 11/30/04 at 08:46 (164944)

Personally, if my insurance had paid for the ESWT I probably would have tried that before the surgery but I think with my problem (and not being able to stretch everything out because of the neurological stuff going on) that surgery was my only option. It's been 4 weeks post op and alot of the swelling has gone down but my foot still hurts and I'm tired of it. I know I have a long way to go but I was in a cast for a stress fracture 6 weeks before the surgery and have been in pain since June and enough is enough. I was suppose to go back to work tomorrow but I'm afraid to drive until I can get into a regular shoe. I have another followup appointment with the doctor next week and I know everyone heals at a different rate but I wish there was a magic test that would tell you if everything is healing the way it's suppose to.