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Heel spur (Plantar fasciitis) surgery

Posted by Tom F on 2/05/05 at 15:58 (168572)

I had plantar fasciitis on the left foot back in 2002 and after few visits to my podiatrist and the addition of orthotic inserts my problem went away. In 2004 my right foot on June 24th I visited the same podiatrist with the plantar fasciitis on the right foot. After 19 vsits, being treated with injections, foot taping, addition of hard orthotic inserts and later soft orthotic inserts, anti-inflammatory medication, my plantar fasciitis now turn into a heel spur. The orgiaal x-rays didn't show it, but yesterday the new x-rays shows it. He now has me scheduled for surgery. He told me what to expect and said I would have pain frm the surgery up to four months after surgery. I would like your opinion if I should have surgery. I have read where it's not 100%.


Re: Heel spur (Plantar fasciitis) surgery

Dr. Z on 2/05/05 at 16:20 (168574)


ESWT is being the standard when dealing with chronic plantar fasciosis that hasn' responded to a course of conserative treatment. Surgery is the last resort.
Having used ESWT for five years now with approximately 15,000 procedures being done on a yearly bases this procedure is becoming more and more available.
No treatment is 100% especially foot surgery. Read about ESWT and feel free to ask DR. Z any questions you may have

Re: Heel spur (Plantar fasciitis) surgery

girlflier on 2/05/05 at 16:23 (168576)

please please PLEASE tom do EVERYTHING you possibly can before you have surgery and WHATEVER YOU DO, do NOT have both feet done at the same time should you in fact decide to go ahead and have surgery. there are several other treatments at your disposal that it sounds as if you havent tried yet. the surgery success rate is not nearly high enough (in my opinion) to warrant using it as ANYTHING but a last resort. AND in some cases, such as mine, it can be a TRULY heinous experience with little to no results. the author of this site has done a lovely job writing about the two types of surgeries, what they entail, their success rates, etc, i encourage you to read those as a start. and id be happy to talk to you about my experience in greater detail if you like.

Re: Heel spur (Plantar fasciitis) surgery

Pat on 2/05/05 at 22:18 (168590)

I had PF surgery ten years ago on my left foot and despite orthodics etc I ended up getting it on my right foot last year (this was the second bout with it). After trying all the standard treatments I opted for EPF surgery and removal of the heel spur (my insurance didn't cover ESWT. Part of my problem is because of some neurological things going on I can't stretch as well as you're suppose to. Anyway, I think your doctor isn't telling you the whole story. While my pain is different now (three months after surgery) than before I am still in pain and still can't walk around like I use to because my foot hurts. It takes up to a year to heal from this and sometimes more. I think doctors have a blanket answer but I really think the biomechanics of your foot, your age, your weight, the type of job you have etc. have alot to do with healing. And the doctor himself. The first time I had a quack (he even doctored the medical records) and this time I had a very good Pod but this pain gets old and I'm tired of it already. I was basically home for two months (I work at home alot) after the surgery and took it easy and I can feel when i do to much. If I had to go to work and stand all day I would have taken alot more time off. You need to talk to other people and see what's involved. My first surgery ended up with a nerve cut and three of my toes are still numb. This surgery, I feel, will end up better but you know it's like every pain that I have (because of the first surgery on the other foot) that I start worrying whether or not this will work.

Re: Girlflier

Pat on 2/05/05 at 22:19 (168591)

I'd be interested in knowing about your surgery - I had EPF surgery on 11/3 and I think I've become obsessed with foot surgery and everything that is going on. You can email me at (email removed) if you like.

Re: Heel spur (Plantar fasciitis) surgery

Dr. Z on 2/06/05 at 02:13 (168597)


I wrote a long response to this post and then decided not to because I didn't want to put you on the defense.I do want to ask you one question
Why didn't you choice ESWT when for over one year Vince has been marketing ESWT at a cost of about $ 500. This is about the cost of the computer that you are using to post on heelspur.com?

Re: Heel spur (Plantar fasciitis) surgery - Dr Z

Pat on 2/06/05 at 07:46 (168604)

Because when I first investigated ESWT I was told that it would probably be at least two treatments and the cost would be about $3,000 out of pocket. At the time I just couldn't do it. Last year (due to some neurological stuff and other things going on) my out of pocket (and I have insurance) before the surgery was about $6,000 so ESWT wasn't an option. Had I known it was just $500 I definitely would have tried it and I'm not sure who Vince is. And while the $500 probably was for the ESWT I'm sure it didn't include all related costs. I have to admit that once I was quoted that I very rarely even look at the ESWT posts and I know there's complications no matter what you choose but basically it came down to a money issue.

Re: Heel spur (Plantar fasciitis) surgery

Dr. David S. Wander on 2/06/05 at 08:55 (168606)

Dr. Z,

Who is Vince, that is marketing ESWT for $500?

Re: Girlflier

girlflier on 2/06/05 at 19:43 (168653)

Hi pat, i too had epf with laser surgery about ten years ago, and it was truly one of the worst events of my life. I suppose if i had gotten ANY improvement whatsoever, it still would have been worth doing because i had tried EVERYTHING else available at the time. I developed PF at age 22 when i started a running program. Over the next ten years i went to about 7 different podiatrists, plus a few orthopedists and physiatrists each of whom 'didnt really like' the previous doc's orthotics. I had i would say ten pairs made over the years, from casts, step-in boxes, and high-tech gait analysis computers (none of which ever helped me much at all). I also had ultrasound (useless), electrical stim (useless), massage (useless), taping (pretty helpful but impractical and who can spend 50 bucks a week?), cortisone shots (useless plus i couldnt stand for 2 days), and also was put on various stretching and exercise and roll-yer-foot-on-this-golfball programs (useless). I finally exhausted all conventional means that i knew of and began to look elsewhere. i tried acupuncture (painful but actually more effective than anything else i'd tried for pain relief, but still no cure), magnets (surprisingly helpful! made a convert out of me), and alternating heat and ice (helpful). By this time i was about 32, and the surgery was no longer the butcher job it used to be; i was told the EPF was 97% successful and i would be up and about in 3 days. as a final pre-surgery resort, i had one leg casted for 30 days to see if my foot would heal if absolutely no demands were put on it, to no avail. so i had the surgery (on both feet), was completely unable to stand for at least a month, crawled around my house on my hands and knees for two months, gained 20 pounds, was still using crutches 4 months later and in agony, went to physical therapy for 9 months (where i met several other foot surgery patients who all said oh yeh the doc tells everyone theyll be up in 3 days). Finally, the doc told me SORRY, guess it didnt work for you, which frankly was kind of nice to have a doc plainly admit, since i'd had so many imply or straight out SAY it was like MY FAULT i wasnt healing!! so i went back to my acupuncture, icing, and magnets, and of all things, i ditched the flats/sneakers and orthotics and pretty much ALWAYS wear high heels (about 5 inches)to take the pressure off my heels and arches. i also read a well-done study that Tuli's and Bauerfind's heel cups and viscospots were proven more effective than ANY custom made orthotics (hell, coulda saved myself about 5 grand), and another that birkenstock shoes were effective for PF. so when i absolutely NEED to wear flats or business type shoes, i wear either birkenstocks or use birkenstock orthotics (about 20 bucks). anyway, a few years after my surgery, i heard about this laser therapy awaiting fda approval, and a few years ago it became available but i was uninsured and not much extra cash laying around (ha!), so i figured i would look into it when i won the lotto or something. i've never been cured, but rather have learned to focus the past ten years on keeping my symptoms to a minimum. ive had this problem so long, i basically have built my whole life around NOT aggravating my feet, and pretty much have accepted that i can never shop at a mall, go to a theme park, go travelling, etc. i forever wear high heels and i have a handicapped sticker which i use as sparingly as possible, both of which ppl laugh at and deride me for sometimes, but other than that noone would know that i have this and how debilitating the chronic pain is unless i tell them. i have my bag of tricks (heat/ice, magnets, acupuncture) for unavoidable occasions when my feet flare up. i found out a week ago that the chiro i work for (i'm a massage therapist) has a laser, and so i went searching online and found this site. It's brought up a lot of memories i havent thought about for years, i was crying a bit yesterday remembering everything, and realizing that not only has this injury caused me untold physical pain (not only my feet, but leg/knee/hip complications as well), and lost chances in life (i had wanted to go to med school), but really negatively affected my entire view of western medicine and doctors. All in all, it really shaped my entire early adult life ::sigh:: anyway, sorry for the longwindedness, but that's my whole story of PF (which you didnt ask for), and the story of my surgery (which you did) :)

Re: Girlflier

Pat on 2/06/05 at 20:41 (168658)

YIKES! I really feel bad for you. Your story was so bad because you went through so much and in the end you didn't get the relief that you needed. I may have only asked about the surgery story but I really appreciate you sharing your whole story with me and others. And I laugh that alot of doctors think you're going to jump off the couch and run around and put on your shoes after 3 days of rest. It was a month before I could put my shoes on and they still don't fit that great. It does help when people read these messages. I really hope this laser treatment that I just heard about really helps you. You'll have to keep us posted. It just boggles my mind that no one has come up with a treatment for this that is 100% effective (and I'm not talking about ESWT because that's not 100% effective either) and has a short recovery period when there are so many people with it. And you know I've told so many people my story that I'm tired of telling it. I feel like I should just record a tape and push the button. Most people have never heard about this and can't understand why if I had surgery three months ago I'm not running all over the place. I know at this point you probably think nothing will help but I'm praying it will. I can't even imagine having this crap at 22. I didn't get it until I was 44 and that was to young. You're right - it does shape your life and what you do. I use to wear 3 inch heels when I went out and now i have one pair in my closet that I look at - my friends joke that I should bronze them from the good old days. But you know I use to go out and have fun and now I feel like an old woman (well, I'm 53 but in my mind I'm young) and half the time I don't want to be bother. Atthis point I'm more settled (more settled than I want to be)and have a job where I can work at home sometimes so it is different from your situation where you have to stand alot and I know that aggravates things. I didn't read anything about you trying ESWT and I didn't know if it was an option or because of financial problems and your insurance not paying for it (which is why I didn't have it) or do they think it wouldn't work because you already had the surgery. I know alot of people are worse off than me but it just seems like when your feet hurt your whole body hurts. Again, I'm really sorry that you're going through this and all that you went through. I know you're sorry to. But I'm hoping that the laser thing is what works for you. Keep me posted!

Re: Girlflier

girlflier on 2/07/05 at 10:18 (168681)

pat, thank you for your kindness! i too became tired of talking about and focusing so much of my time and energy on searching for a cure, thats why after ten years and all available treatments i decided it was best for me not to focus on the bars of my prison, but rather beyond them, and to live my life as well as i could. i just found out from this site that laser treatments are not the same as eswt, so i guess i now have two options! for the first time in ten years i'm hopeful; however, its sadly amusing that after so many other attempts, i'm reluctant to get my hopes up too high. i'll try the laser first, since i have it freely available, and look into eswt if that fails. the reason i hadnt done this sooner was that these treatments werent available ten years ago, at least that i knew about. anyway i forgot to mention in response to your previous post that after my surgery my feet also hurt in new and wondrous places that they hadnt before, although unlike you i didnt have any nerve damage etc. did you say you were considering having surgery on your other foot? even after such a result??? i saw a post on here about eswt being cheaply available somewhere, perhaps you could try that first.

Re: Girlflier

Pat on 2/07/05 at 19:22 (168719)

I actually had the surgery on my left foot 10 years ago and that resulted in some nerve damage and a year long recovery that included 4 cortisone shots within a month of the surgery to try and reduce the swelling, 2 nerve conduction studies, x-rays, taping, whirlpool, physical therapy and finally an MRI. Of course after all this I had little faith in the doctor who 'doctored' the records (showed I was only cut on one side of my foot when he had cut on both sides) when I moved to a different state. I was younger and stupid and was just glad that my foot started feeling o.k. after a year. It's never been 'right' because my gait and stuff is way off but I don't have the pain. So when I developed PF in my right foot and tried everything but ESWT I just wanted to get a good surgery and have it over and done with. The reason I didn't have ESWT is because it wasn't covered by my insurance and I didn't have the money to pay it. Last year my out of pocket medical and dental (and that's with insurance) was about $6,000 so it wasn't an option and I opted for the surgery. I know I have a long recuperation time and I'm just tired. I do have faith in this POD but I know they're not God. I am just so tired of all this stuff and the physical therapy (today with the ultrasound) is painful. I just need to sleep for a month and wake up in a new, skinnier, improved body! LOL! And I think the thing with ESWT is that some insurance don't cover either the doctors fees or the surgery center or whatever and there seems to be a long recovery period as well. Let me know if the laser works for you. I'm very interested in that