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Advice for my daughter,please

Posted by Tina H on 4/21/05 at 17:59 (173510)

You might remember that my daughter age 14 has had pf since Nov. We tried most conservative measures, and the best help has been the high arch Birks. However the pf has not improved, and now she has the classic morning pain as well. We saw a new dr today, foot orthopod and I actually agreed with everything he said so for a change I'm on the same page with a dr. He does not give cortisone to kids, EWST might work but he said what he finds to be best for kids(and she was the 3rd teenager today) is to drastically limit their movement by casting the foot for 4 weeks. He plans to start with the worst one followed by the second if necessary. Once it's healed he will work with us getting proper orthotics (didn't like the 1/2 sole hard orthotics ordered by the other doctor). Said PT likely would be a waste of time as she is very flexible already, and doubted that the night splint would be of significant help. I told him it sounded reasonable, but wanted a week to think about it and my daughter needed some time to get organized for this. Those of you who were casted, did it work? Any advice about crutches etc? Thanks for letting me pick your brains on this and I'm grateful for any info, thoughts, you might have. Thanks again, Tina

Re: Advice for my daughter,please

Bob G on 4/22/05 at 22:28 (173562)

My initial reaction, gut feeling, is you have a good doctor. I have done the nightsplint (not easy to do), but I was much older, fed up, fed up, fed up, etc. and your doctor obviously understands (I think) he's dealing with teanage dynamics.

What the casting would do is allow the pf to heal. Right on! That is the sought-after first step.

Having been in and out of PF twice (is enough!) and have been pain free for quite a number of years now.

From what you post I think (in my heart of hearts) your kid's got good medical advice - however I am not a doctor! Best wishes.

Re: Advice for my daughter,please

Bob G on 4/22/05 at 22:36 (173563)

After thought. Crutches won't hurt and could help. By preventing the re-injury of the pf. Remember, each time it's re-injured one has to start all over.

So if I had it to do over again, I would have a pair of crutches! Better than suffering for years.

Re: Advice for my daughter,please

Julie on 4/23/05 at 02:54 (173571)

Tina, I agree with Bob. What strikes me as particularly positive is that this doctor seems to understand that each patient is unique, and that treating a teenager is not the same as treating an adult. PF is a repetitive motion injury will heal if further injury is avoided, but it would be virtually impossible to get a teenager to 'rest' (or to tolerate a night splint) so the cast sounds a good idea to me. The follow-up sounds sensible too.

One thing I would discuss with him, though, is rehabilitation after the casting. Her muscles will need building, up (particularly as you say she is very flexible). It would also be a good idea to post your question on the Doctor board, in case they don't see it here.

I wish your daughter the speediest of recoveries - PF must be particularly frustrating for a teenager!

Re: Advice for my daughter,please

Dr. Z on 4/23/05 at 08:36 (173574)

Cast is a very good idea. The doctor should also perform an MRI to see if there is a really if that hasn't been done Rest REST is the major key

Re: Advice for my daughter,please

Kathy G on 4/23/05 at 08:57 (173577)

I have no advice but send your daughter my best wishes! It's hard enough to be fourteen without the problem of PF. I hope the casting turns out to be the answer.

Re: Advice for my daughter,please

Tina H on 4/23/05 at 18:11 (173594)

Thanks all for your kind words and support. My daughter and I read these nice messages together and she said 'they are all so nice!' I said yes, this site is the only thing positive about having pf. Thanks again, we are going to try the cast and I will let you know if and how it works.
Tina and daughter xoxo

Re: Advice for my daughter,please

Tina H on 4/23/05 at 18:12 (173595)

Julie- Thanks so much for suggestion of PT after. I'll make sure we bring that up before the casting. Thanks, Tina

Re: Advice for my daughter,please

john h on 4/24/05 at 08:57 (173632)

I hate crutches Bob. I am lucky I did not fall and break something. Going up steps on crutches was for the birds. One really needs to read a little about crutches if you need them as there are many do's and dont's. You can press on those nerves under your arms and created problems and one should be fitted properly. I put aftermarket shock absorbers on mine. I was cool and could actually bounce up and down. You also get sympathy from all the girls if you need any.

Re: Advice for my daughter,please

AmyM on 4/26/05 at 14:14 (173767)

Hi, I thought I'd reply. My foot pain started when I was 12 (I'm 28 now...) Your Dr's advice sounds fine, but I'd like to say to both you and your daughter, don't be disappointed if you're not healed the second they take the cast off. It's not like dealing with a broken leg, there are a lot of muscles and tendons to rehabilitate, and it takes far longer for tendon/ligament injuries to heal than a (straight forward) break in a bone. Tendons get less blood than muscles and blood carries al lot of the nutrients and signals your body needs to heal.

I guess the other students will be curious, but it's up to you what you tell them, it's your body and you're in control so don't let other students opinions upset you. It's your body, it's temporary, it will get fixed, it will take some time. Anyway, it gives you a chance to do some other hobbies or intresets you might not otherwise have had time for, I also think it will give you a more mature and compassionate outlook on life, which is a good thing (it's just a hard way to learn it). Plus I became a lot more intersted in biology as a result!

As for crutches, best advice, buy some mountain biking gloves, you can get fingerless gloves, I've got a great pair, black on the top with leather on the palms and extra padding, it stops you getting giant blisters on your hands Mine only cost about $10. Look into the extra suspension because it can really take it's toll on your arms. Also, women are different to men, men have more chest muscles/ arm muscles so are much better at hauling their weight around on crutches (so don't let that upset you either). Another good idea is to use a backpack, or if you've some heavy books or folders, ask the teachers if you can leave them in the class for the couple of weeks you'll be using crutches.

Hope this helps and don't despair!