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Open Plantar Fasciotomy

Posted by Kat C. on 5/01/05 at 21:36 (174057)

I have lurked here a bit in the past 6 months or so, while pursuing all 'conservative' treatments for Plantar Fasciitis. For over 18 months, I did it all, except for ESWT which in San Diego is around $1500 per treatment, and my podiatrist estimated at least 2 treatments would be necessary. Insurance still considers ESWT as 'experimental' so they do not cover it. After already laying out more cash than I could afford on orthotics and good shoes, and a long chat with my GP (who is a sports med doc), I went to an Orthopaedic Surgeon who specializes in foot and ankle ailments (and also a team doc for the SD Padres). I truly did not want to have surgery and be 'laid up' for any length of time. But it got to the point that even getting out of a chair after a short time was excruciatingly painful, and the only thing that brought relief was if I could ice my feet long enough to attain numbness. Which was just a different kind of pain. Persistent pain only compounded my depression to the point of avoiding social situations and not even talking to friends on the phone since I had no good news to share.

The surgeon did not insist that I 'need' surgery. He said I had a choice - continue with the course of conservative treatments for an undetermined length of time (rest of life?), or have surgery. He did not sway me either way. He agreed that my situation sucked, and admitted that surgery carries about a 70% success rate (in his particular practice - 85%). He also explained that he prefers to perform open surgery rather than EPF, so that he can see exactly what's going on in there.

I am now three weeks post-op, and recovering well. My incision looks pretty gnarly, yes, but is healing well. My heel is tender, but nothing like the pain I had with the PF in full force. Now, I realize it is very soon to form a permanent opinion, but considering the last year and half, I finally feel that I'm on the road to recovery. Plus, I went shopping at WalMart today and drove one of those little shopping buggies! It was so liberating! hee hee

I'll check back periodically and update my status. For anyone trying to make a decision for or against surgery, I would just say that every person is different and there can't possibly be one perfect solution.

Happy heeling.

Re: Open Plantar Fasciotomy

JudyS on 5/03/05 at 00:03 (174142)

Kat - I'm in SD also. Who did your surgery? My PF started about four years ago but I did not have surgery. My husband had the EPF and has been happy with it's results.

Re: Open Plantar Fasciotomy

Kat C. on 5/03/05 at 15:05 (174189)

Judy -

Dr. Steven Copp did my surgery. He is at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla (858)455-9100, ask for Dr. Copp's office. My internist wanted to refer me to a Dr. Dreben in La Mesa, but she does not accept my insurance plan. So I searched the UCSD and Scripps web sites for orthopedics and found Dr. Copp and he (as is most of Scripps) is covered on my Aetna plan. Interestingly enough, the nurse at Scripps who handled my pre-op stuff also mentioned Dr. Dreben's name as a very good practitioner for PF, so at least there is some professional comraderie there.

How have you been holding up with PF for four years?? My goodness, you must be so uncomfortable!! I encourage you to seek a solution if you are in pain. For me, the chronic pain seriously compounded my clinical depression but I was hardly aware of it until the last few months. Also, I must have had continuing nerve damage in my foot, because when I had a pedicure a couple days before surgery, my right foot was completely desensitized and I hardly noticed the work being done, while my left foot was very ticklish.

Good luck!

Re: Open Plantar Fasciotomy

Amy on 6/16/05 at 12:23 (176947)

I cannot tell you how happy I am to have stumbled across this site. I am considering open surgery. I realize you have not posted for a while, how is your recovery? I am a bit anxious about it. I was only joking when I told my family I wanted to take the summer off from work. I am a Nurse so you can imagine how much time I spend on my feet. I too have done all the conservative treatments for years. The pain has been much worse over the past six months. I was relieved to hear that I am not the only one who is also experiencing depression over this. Although I am sorry to hear how it has affected you, it was validating to me.

Do you have any advice for some one concidering it? Would you do it again? My doc doesn't do EPF which really disappointed me.

Any helpful hints during recovery? Basically I will take any advice or opinions you can offer.

I hope you are doing well. Thanks for your time.

Re: Open Plantar Fasciotomy

dubo on 2/02/06 at 01:59 (192672)