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Should I get 2nd opinion before surgery for plantar fasciitis?

Posted by Rana B. on 12/11/04 at 22:56 (165509)

I am a 41 year old femaile; high instep; 15 lbs. overweight - I was walking 4 miles a day, then began to jog in August. At the same time, I started teaching/standing on my feet 8 hrs. a day. I developed plantar fasciitis if BOTH feet. I went to Phiddipiddes and bought shoes that were right for my foot, and shoe pads. My right foot is well, but my left foot continues to swell/cause pain. I no longer have the pain when I step out of bed. My pain is constant, but is not unbearable.

I went to a podiatrist 2 days before Thanksgiving. He x-rayed my foot and determined that I had no fractures of heel spurs. He then did a sonogram of each heel, and there was significant swelling in my left heel. I was sold more shoe pads - that were firm (I have a high instep). After Thanksgiving he started me with the weekly shots of cortisone in my heel - which was very painful. He also perscribed one Bextra a day for 4 weeks. After the 3 shots, the swelling was a little worse! He then suggested the options of some type of 'shock' therapy (can't remember the name). He said it might jumpstart my pain receptors and get them back to normal. (70% success rate, so he said) His other suggestion was surgery to cut the fascia 1/2 - 2/3 way in order to relieve the tension. He told me that had a 92% success rate.

Since the pain is in the instep and the interior side of my left foot, and it seems to be some pain from swelling, could this be anything other than plantar fasciitis? What do you suggest? Also, something interesting, my 7-year-old daughter's arches are bothering her since we started going to this new school. She has high insteps too. I had the podiatrist look at her feet, but he didn't really say anything but suggest that she do exercises to stretch her calf muscles. What would you suggest I do for her? Does she need to wear tie-up shoes? She's not allowed to wear tennis shoes to school, but has been given permission for 6 weeks per the podiatrist's orders.

I will be spending Dec. 21-24 walking at Disney World - any suggestions? I hope you can answer before I leave on Sunday, the 19th. Thank you so much for your time. Sincerely, Rana B

Re: Should I get 2nd opinion before surgery for plantar fasciitis?

Pat on 12/12/04 at 07:36 (165525)

The shock wave therapy the doctor is talking about is ESWT and there is a board on here specifically for that if you want more information. However, I would definitely get a second opinion. I had EPF surgery ten years ago and it was the surgery from hell. Everything that could possibly go wrong did and it was a year long search of way to much pain and different procedures until it heeled. Not to give you my life story but the doctor didn't know what he was doing and even doctored the records which the second Podiatrist told me because of the way the foot was cut and all that. Anyway, fast forward to this year and I had EPF surgery on the other foot on 11/3. I'm doing o.k. and it's healing (I tried everything known to mankind first)but it takes alot of time. This surgery was alot different because I checked the doctor out and he is really good. I think in your case I would be concerned about all those cortisone shots, the fact that you don't have pain in the morning, the doctor isn't really able to pinpoint things. With mine I actually had a stress fracture that they found with a bone scan that was an additional problem but very painful. They put me in an aircast for 6 weeks and while it didn't completely fix the problem before I had surgery it wasn't as painful. First, get a second opinion at another Pod and ask about a bone scan to rule out stress fractures. Second, ask about an air cast so maybe you can rest your foot (it basically takes the weight off your foot while you're walking). I really don't think going to Disney World is the best thing for you now because it is alot of walking. However, if it was me I would definitely rent a wheelchair. It's much easier to have someone push you and enjoy the rides to be halfway through the park and have to hobble and wince in pain. Plus, you get to the head of the line in everything! LOL! You don't want to mess your foot up more with all that walking and you won't really be able to get any treatment done until you come back so it's worth a try.

Re: Should I get 2nd opinion before surgery for plantar fasciitis?

Dr Ben Pearl on 12/12/04 at 18:03 (165538)

both those percentages are high- you need to have more realistic expectations