PF for 10 years, no relief in site!Posted by Laura on 6/14/05 at 09:03 (176747)
I have chronic/acute (not sure of the proper terminology) PF in both feet. I'm also a single mom (who can do very little with or for my son due to PF). I'm also looking at hip replacement this year (age 37) and having knee problems plus I have a very large osteochondroma below my right knee (under my calf muscle). Not good! My right foot is pretty well mangled (the Podiatrists exact words)at this point with a nice bunion and really screwed up toes (probably from walking on the outside or inside of my foot at different times to alleivate the pain, plus my arches just completely flatten out when I stand). I believe that the osteochondroma may be contributing to the right foot problems because it makes my calf muscle very tight, which seems to cause problems with the tightening and swelling of the Achilles tendon, which seems to aggrevate the PF. My orthopaedic surgeon says that the osteochondroma is so large and in such a difficult area, that he would be afraid to remove it(I'd have to travel to someone who had operated on this type of bone growth in this location before). He said that if he/they screwed up they could sever the major blood vessel that supplies my lower leg and I could lose the use of it permanently! The left foot still looks pretty normal and the PF isn't quit as bad in that foot. My son has heard me say 'I can't, my feet are hurting too bad' so many times that he now uses that as an excuse. I've been to several podiatrists and none have mentioned ESWT. My latest wants to do surgery and basically lock up my arches to keep them from collapsing/flattening when I stand. That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. I've tried every conservative treatment, save much PT (other than doing it myself and the occasional massage). No relief! I now have trouble cooking dinner or walking to the mailbox and I do all my Christmas shopping on the internet! I can't do anything but swim to stay in shape and being a single mom, it's hard to get time to go to a pool. I'm getting way out of shape and the heavier I get, the worse the PF gets. I'm now researching ESWT myself and think that I have to try it. I'm thinking about asking my Orthopaedic Surgeon if I could do this right before my hip surgery so I can stay off the feet for 4-6 weeks. Maybe, just maybe, it will save me from a life of pain. I'm too young for a wheel chair and a handicapped sticker!
Please help! Is ESWT my next step? Is surgery my best option? Who are the best foot specialists in North Carolina???? I'll drive or fly if I have to!