Plantar Fasciitis / heel spurs home page

Posted by Eric on April 19, 1998 at 23:51:08:
I had epf surgery about 4 months ago and according to my doctor I'm supposed to be all healed by now. According to many postings on this invaluable site that doesn't seem to be the case with most patients.

I was wondering if anyone out there who is healed , if not cured, has a problem with the entire heel area being very hard and tender. Also, every step that I take results in a sharp, almost burning sensation
around the edge of my heel. The faster I walk, or the harder I put my heel down, the worse it gets.

It seems that every week there is a new and equally annoying symptom that crops up. Hopefully there is an end to this in the near future. Somedays I'm ready to give up hope on anything close to a normal life again.
Good Luck to all you fellow sufferers

Message # 24

Re: Is having a hard heel after surgery normal?

Posted by cindy on April 20, 1998 at 15:00:35:
Well, I had the epf a little over 3months ago; my heel is not hard, but a little tender, and I also have a sharp pain on the outer edge of the heel when I take a step. I, too, am just hoping it will go away. And, like you, I don't know if I will ever have a normal life again. I have started showing a lot of interest in ads for various types of wheelchairs - that's probably not a good sign. I don't want to just give in or give up - try to hang in there

Message # 53

Re: PF Surgery Technique

Posted by Terry on April 24, 1998 at 23:37:49:
I had epf about 4 months ago and the healing process has been very slow. This week I developed a sensation that I have not felt before since the surgery.It's not really that painful but more of a sharp electrical impulse followed by a tingling feeling .This sensation occurs around the site of the surgery and extends across the foot.
Has anyone experienced a feeling like this and does it get any worse? I understood that nerve entrapment was exremely painful. Also what treatment is available for this ?
Thanks everyone.
Message # 73

Re: swimming tips

Posted by Cindy on April 27, 1998 at 19:23:11:
I definitely agree that you need some rubber sandals to get to & from the pool, no barefoot walking. But, I have had trouble with swimming, too. I was doing it 3 weeks after my epf and really inflammed the healing tissue. Too much kicking is the problem, I think, altho. I haven't figured out how to swim without kicking
I did just go on a scuba diving trip, diving at least 2 times daily for 5 days, with big fins, and this was not much of a problem . My theory is that I LIKE to scuba dive, and I DON'T like to swim in a chlorinated fish bowl
No endorphins there! I hope to start a pool swimming program next week, so if I discover any secrets to it, I'll post! Good luck

Message # 108

Details re:epf surgery?

Posted by Jean on May 02, 1998 at 22:59:02:
I was wondering if anyone has had EPF surgery and was aware of what the procedure was like while it was being performed.
During my surgery I was entirely awake amd aware of what was being done. I noticed that when the surgeon was done cutting he removed the scope and then decided to insert it again and have another look.

I have had a really difficult time with the healing process. After 4 months I still have an incredible amount of pain at the surgery site and frequent sharp pain all over the heel when I walk.
Could inserting the scope more than once cause extra tissue damage or am I just really slow in healing?
The surgeon seemed to think I should have no pain after a couple of weeks but my family doctor had a look at it and said there is still a fair amount of swelling in the heel and that it could take up to a year to heal. Why is there such a difference of opinion within the medical profession or is it that surgeons won't admit anything less than a perfect result?? HELP

Message # 111

Re: Details re:epf surgery?

Posted by Cindy on May 04, 1998 at 11:36:10:
I had the EPF in mid-Jan., and am just now able to walk really well without sharp pain at the insertion sites of the scope, and along the outer edge of my heel. So, I don't think that its really out of the range of normal for you to be having some pain yet. What does the surgeon say? My surgeon told me I was progressing just fine, a little slower than most, but ok.

Have you tried any PT or any swimming? Those might help, but get surgeons ok first. In PT, they can use ionophoresis to put cortisone into the insertion sites, and that might help. If you are interested, ask you Dr. to refer to PT. Good luck.

Message # 112

Re: 7wk post op conventional PF surgery, good results

Posted by Cindy on May 04, 1998 at 11:39:55:
Congratulations on your positive outcome
That is just about the best news I've heard in a long time. Gives everyone hope. Especially because you had the traditional surgery, I think your outcome is remarkable. Unfortunately, its not the norm, according to the rest of these posts. Even with the epf, the outcomes are highly varied as far a success rate, and recovery time. Please keep us posted on your continuing progress!

Message # 148

Re: 7wk post op conventional PF surgery, good results

Posted by Elizabeth on May 15, 1998 at 15:19:39:
I have to disagree, traditional surgery can have great results if the post-op care is followed - rest, rest, non-weightbearing, more rest, then PT and massage. I suffered for 5 years, had the open release in both feet, and, 4 years later, I am still pain free! Poor results happen when you try to get back on your feet too soon and don't give the fascia a chance to heal - no matter which surgery was done. epf is still a relatively new procedure and good, controlled studies need to be performed before we can say which is better. I would choose the one my Dr. has had the most success and feels more comfortable performing. My 2 cents
Message # 154

surgery and long term results

Posted by Sue on May 16, 1998 at 21:42:53:
Hello everyone -
I guess one thing that I want to stress to everyone, is that results are are so individualized for all -I had conventional surgery on my foot in January, 1998. I have PF in both feet, and have been dealing with this for over 2 1/2 yrs. Yes, my foot feels better than prior to the surgery. Pain free? No. My dr, (ortho surgeon, specializing in foot and ankle), says it will take over a yr to get to that point). He has done both epf , and conventional. He would rather do the conventional, since he can see so much more. I guess what I'm saying, is don't be discouraged if what you are experiencing does not seem to match up with other people on this web site - EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.
Personally,I feel that yes, the surgery was worth it. I was home for 3 1/2 weeks non weight bearing, but I am much better than prior to the surgery. The other foot? I'm waiting for final results on the first foot
In another 6 months, I may have the other foot done. I'll let you know


Message # 162

Re: surgery and long term results

Posted by eileen on May 18, 1998 at 10:02:31:
Hi, I had epf in august 97 on my left foot, although it is better, it will never be 100%. I continue to experience pain with any walking for more than 1/2 mile, I still cannot bike or nordictrac withoout increased pain or discomfort. What has been great is that just daily errand and on my feet is 99% pain free . I did just recently restart the antinflamatory pill with permission from my primary and orthopedic Md so I can be more active without discomfort. So I have now gone for a short bike ride this week and a walk without pain. I will continue on these meds so I can be more active. I continue to stretch twice a day, and even recently went on vacation with extensive walking and did
fine. I choose not to do the other foot, since result were not what I wanted. I also take glucosamine sulfate 1000mg every day and calcuim which I do think helps a little. Good luck to you .

Message # 163

Re: Help with Psychological effects of PF

Posted by Margaret on May 18, 1998 at 10:59:06:
Yes, I can tell everyone that the psychological effects of PF are like no other that I have ever experienced in my life.
I have been suffering from PF for 10 years and tried all kinds of remedies to no avail. I found a web site one day that talked about epf surgery. It made it sound like a breeze... Back in your shoes in 3-5 days, back to work in a week and back to normal activities after ONLY one month.
I thought this was the answer to my suffering and went to see a specialist who booked me into the procedure within a week. I thought that this was great. Little did I know what was ahead of me.
It is now FOUR monnths since surgery and I can barely get around . The pain from the surgery has never let up. The specialist is one of those real jerks who only wants to see excellent results and therefore wants no part of my suffering and gives me absolutely no help or support in finding any relief. I'm on my own to get through this mess.
I foolishly had placed so much hope that this surgery would be the answer to my future happiness and what a letdown it has been. I would give anything to do it over again. How I wish I had read this web site before .
Things have gotten so bad that I went to see my family doctor who put me on antidepressants . I've been on them for a month now and they have helped a bit with my mood but if only I could get rid of some of the pain.That's my next dilemna since I don't want to turn into a pill freak.
I have been through other crises in my life ,as everyone has been and come through them strong and healthy but this one has just knocked everyhing out of me. I used to be a strong , outgoing person who enjoyed life even with the restrictions that PF puts on your life but now I dread getting up everyday to face the pain and immobility that this had placed on me.
I know that I will find a way to get through this. What keeps me going is the hope that I will wake up one day and soon and find some improvement that continues. I don't expect to ever be without pain but am willing to settle for anything at this point.
My advice for everyone is to thoroughly check out all the consequences of this new surgery and ASK QUESTIONS before you do anyhing . I would love to get the day back that I agreed to believe everything my surgeon told me just so he could experiment with a new procedure that I am now convinced he knew very little about. He has demonstrated that this is true by the way in which he has dealt with me since the operation .
Thanks for letting me get this out. I feel better. Good luck to all and take one day at a time . It's the only way to get through all of the ramifications of this affliction . We are the only ones who understand the way each of us feels . I'm so glad that we have this forum to let us know that we are not alone

Message # 169

dr. stephen barrett recommendation?

Posted by cindy burdue on December 30, 1997 at 10:27:34:
Hi, folks. Has anybody here been to see Dr. Stephen Barrett in Spring, TX? I found his web site thru Scott's page, and it appears that he patented one form of the epf surgery technique. I would really appreciate hearing from anyone who knows the man. I have an appmt. on Jan. 5th

Message # 217

post-op report

Posted by cindy on January 19, 1998 at 17:17:39:
Hey, everyone. I had epf on my right foot last wednesday. I flew from Seattle to Houston to have Dr. Stephen Barrett perform the surgery - he's really an expert in the condition and the surgery. He's been involved in 800 of the procedures and has also "worked on" the feet of 2,000 cadavers. I am very impressed with his credentials and also liked him a lot. It was worth the trip (but, I flew home 5 hrs. after the operation, and got pretty airsick! So, I would stay overnight the next time, to let the anesthesia get out of my system before flying!)

I have had very little pain; the incision sites are tender, and I am using crutches for now. In a few days, I will be able to walk with the boot he gave me and without the crutches. I am already doing stretches 5 times a day, to keep the fascia from tightening up while healing.

\In 8 weeks, if this foot continues to feel good, I will get the left foot done. Again, I'll go to Dr. Barrett. Houston is a nice place, the people are very friendly, and the surgical center was great.
Message # 391

suggestions on exersice equipment or sports to try

Posted by eileen on March 20, 1998 at 08:33:11:
I am 7 month post op epf and doing fair, i still have very mild pain and tightness with walking malls for over 1 hour and can only walk slowly. I am 90% pain free just puttering around the house and doing short errands. I still cannot ride an exersice bike for more than 5 minutes or use the nordictrac air walker without increased pain and tightness. My orthopedic surgeon suggested the nordictrac eclipse may work for me. Anybody out there that has had any luck using any equipment pain free or any sports pain free. Spring is comming to Ma. and I would like to increase my activity level. I plan to try to start walking around the high school track soon for short distances and see how this goes in good weather. Would love to own something in the house that works for me. Any try the eclipse

Message # 482

epf Surgery Results for PF

Posted by Margaret on April 02, 1998 at 19:48:12:
I had EPF surgery in June 1998 (see entry #75). I am now essentially pain free. My feet get tired if abused, but no more PF pain. I don't even use my orthoditcs anymore (although I know I should). I can even walk bared-footed again! It took at least 2 months before the surgical pain and swelling went away, and my foot is flatter now, but it was all worth it. I have also had great success with Munro shoes. They are even more comfortable than Soft Spots or SAS.
Message # 486

Re: epf Surgery Results for PF

Posted by Marie on April 03, 1998 at 14:11:10:
Am very happy to hear you are pain free. What an ordeal it is to be in such horrible pain. Best of Luck to you.
Message # 489

Re: epf Surgery Results for PF

Posted by Mike on April 03, 1998 at 22:49:39:
Great that you are pain free. But, I'm going to butt in and tell you that you must at least talk to your doctor about staying in orthotics.
You already state that your arch is lower. I have seen cases where five years after the surgery, this new amount of pronation resulted in
forefoot changes such as Halux Valgus, Bunions, and hammertoes. I have also seen complete mid-foot collapse four years post surgery.

I'm not trying to scare anyone. This can be avoided. Your doctor can advise you better than I, of course. I'm just telling you what I have seen. Please use a little prevention and stay happy with your feet.
Message # 496

Lousy, condescending attitudes of Doctors!

Posted by Sharon L. on April 05, 1998 at 00:46:41:
This is my experience with a so-called professional.At the time of my first consultation before surgery, he couldn't have been more sweet and helpful. Of course this phoniness , as I later found out was to get me to agree to surgery, which I did. After the surgery, he couldn't have cared less. I had epf surgery which is supposed to have a very short recovery time. Well, it is now 10 weeks later and I still have a LOT of pain at the surgical site.
I have been back to the doctor four times, complaining about the inability to as of yet put my full weight on my foot and about the amount of swelling and hardness in my heel, He has yet to even examine it or get close enough to touch it. He just writes down a few comments on my chart and sets up another appointment for me.
Yesterday was the limit! After I voiced my concern again, he told me to take off my shoes and socks and then proceeded to have me almost run down the hall in his office area, yelling at me to go faster and faster, berating me and telling me that I was acting like an old woman. I'm 35. What the point of this was, I don't know other than to prove how sadistic he is.
The outcome of this latest visit was to once again hand me another prescription for anti-inflammatories and to tell me to come back in a week. Needless to say, I will not be returning . I will let time take care of this.
Has anyone else had this slow healing experience and what was the outcome? I do feel progress, but very slowly. Am I just being impatient?
Message # 500

Re: Lousy, condescending attitudes of Doctors!

Posted by cindy on April 05, 1998 at 17:41:40:
Sharon: I had the epf 11 weeks ago, and I was only able to put my full weight on the foot around week 9. And that is in the big surgical boot, not my Nike's, because the tennis shoes are very painful.

Your dr sounds like the devil! You poor thing. Of course, you should not go back to him. Some drs. want to hear only praise and congratulations for their work; they can't take it if the outcome is not perfect. Thankfully, my dr. has been very good and patient. He's in Houston and I'm in the Seattle area, but we talk by phone every week, and he's very good about getting back to me, and he takes me seriously. I wish you could get to Houston to see him. Not to say he has the magic cure, but he has really "stuck" with me thru all of this. And, he's never been condescending. Are you near Houston, or can you travel there? His name is Stephen Barrett, he has a web page at He is an expert in the EPF. So, he's probably seen every thing that can go wrong, and his ego is not injured if you don't follow the correct pattern of healing.

I am wishing you better luck. It made me feel better to hear that someone else is healing slowly, its not just me. Dr. Barrett still feels that I will be ok in the end, its just slower for some of us than others. I say don't try to do too much on that foot - Dr. Barrett has told me to go slow, and listen to the foot, and if it needs rest, ice, whatever, do it.

Message # 502

What method is best for recovery ?

Posted by Lisa S. on April 05, 1998 at 19:10:19:
Hi all you fellow sufferers. Isn,t this web site great?At least we know that we aren,t alone or crazy!
I had epf surgery about 3 months ago and was told by my surgeon to get up and walk the day after and to keep walking , the more the better. I don,t know if this has anything to do with my slow progress but I am getting extremely frustated.
Others seem to say to keep off it for weeks. What,s the deal with all of this ambiguos advice?
To me, it seems that the more you put your weight on something that is so injured and painful as the foot is after surgery , the longer it will take to heal. But, what do I know, I,m just a humanm not one of these god-like surgeons

Has anyone got any stories of success or failure with either method or are we just out here floundering by ourselves? The doctors won't give me a straight answer,other than their classic , "Everyone is different". I know that but I would appreciate some intelligent explaination at times too. I'm not an idiot. Thanks for letting me vent!
Message # 566

Does anyone have any regrets about surgery?

Posted by Evelyn on April 11, 1998 at 13:03:55:
Hi everyone out there who is in misery.I have had this dreaded thing called PF for about five years. I tried all of the conventional methods with very little improvement. After some research re:surgery and a consultation with a foot surgeon, I decided to have epf done on one foot. I wish now that I had found this web site before. I really don't think that I would have gone ahead with it.
Before surgery, I thought that my quality of life was really deteriorating and put all my trust in the surgeon who said that surgery would be a piece of cake and that my foot problems would be over.

Surgery wasn't that bad but the recovery has been hell
! I have followed all of his instructions to the letter and after almost four months, I'm in more pain than ever. MOst of it is directly in the area where the surgery was performed . I've done ultrasound and taping and inflammatories with little in the way of improvement.
My doctor wants to wash his hands of the whole thing and insists that the pain is all in my mind. He says that the more I use the foot, the better it will heal. At this point, I don't know whether to take his advice or not.Somedays I'm beside myself with both pain and confusion.

Has anyone had a similar experience with slow healing and can you give me some hope for the future?

I really wish doctors would be a little more honest wih you instead of painting such a rosy picture in order to hook you into such procedures. I guess we should ask more questions first. Perhaps the most important one should be if they would have the same operation themselves if they had the same condition. I'll bet the honest answer would be ....NO. If he had told me honestly what to expect on this never ending road to recovery at least I would know what to expect and wouldn't be so confused and frustated .

Has anyone got a few words of encouragment? Thanks!
Message # 579

Re: What method is best for recovery ?

Posted by Sherry on April 14, 1998 at 00:38:25:
I too had epf surgery done on one foot and it seemed to take forever for any kind of improvement. I too got very little support or encouragement from my surgeon. I have had to persevere with this entirely by myself and after almost 4 months I can say I have some kind of hope for a light at the end of the tunnel. It has only been a week since I could put my entire weight on that foot and the pain is FINALLY starting to ease up at the site of the surgery.

At this point I would be happy to just return to the amount of pain that I had prior to the surgery. I know that this sounds very pessimistic but I'm sure that a lot of people that have gone through the surgery and now have complications from it are thinking the same way.

After reading many of the posts on this site, I'm grateful that I managed to get through this without any of the other serious results that can happen.i.e.nerve entrapment etc.

I think that most of us would agree that this is a problem that lasts a LONG time and therefore could be Classified as a chronic pain situation and eventually will have to be treated as such.
As a result of my experience with surgery, I will never consider having it done to my other foot and am now taking charge of my own pain . An excellent book that others may want to consider is "Mastering Pain: A Twelve-step Program for Coping with Chronic Pain" by Dr. Richard A Sternbach.
Good luck to all!
Message # 616

Failed epf Surgery

Posted by Richard O Lundeen DPM on May 22, 1998 at 23:09:42:
We are currently preparing our results with a large # of EPF outcomes for publication. Our research has produced a set of "failed" procedures that have responded to an allgorhythmic diagnostic regime indicating relative success to further conservative or surgical treatment. Consultation is available at no cost if:

The sample of patients we are looking for is very limited and only involves those who have already had an EPF.

Message # 617


Posted by Melissa on May 22, 1998 at 23:16:17:
The cortisone shot I had on Monday, 5/18 has been by far the best treatment I've tried so far. It was given in the inside of the heel, not the bottom of my foot. The shot hurt, but not as bad as some of the shots I've had in my ankle. The podiatrist thought I was going to have to have epf this summer, so he tried this as a last resort after stretching, anti-inflammatory medications, heel cushions, and a night splint. I've been completely pain free since Wednesday. I was lifting heavy boxes this morning packing up my classroom so it can be renovated, and I felt not so much as a twinge. I'm pretty confident that even if the pain comes back, one more shot should cure me for good. The swelling in the fascia has gone down so much I can actually feel a difference when I press on the bottom of my foot.
Message # 627

Given the choice of cortisone or surgery, I take the shot!

Posted by Melissa on May 23, 1998 at 22:51:50:
Thank you for your response. My mother was cured of PF four years ago by having two cortisone shots and having her foot taped for a few days. She has had no recurrence of her PF or any symptoms since she got over the soreness of the second shot. Because of her experience, and the fact that a cortisone shot in my ankle in December ended the chronic pain I continued to have 2 1/2 months after ankle surgery, I decided to have the shot. I have also read the bad results people have had from epf surgery, so I would like to avoid that. I know that there are risks and hazards with the shots, but possibly avoiding surgery is well worth the risk. I felt pain during my surgery last September during my surgery, and it took me 2 1/2 painful months to recover, so needless to say, I am extremely afraid of having another surgery. I have also had no ill effects from cortisone shots before. My podiatrist offered to prescribe anti-inflammatories in addition to the cortisone when I was in getting my shot on Monday, and I emphatically turned them down because they don't work and sometimes cause stomach pain that is worse than the PF pain. My podiatrist is conservative and very easy to discuss things with. He is very good about answering questions and concerns, and he explained the reason he was recommending cortisone and the risk involved. I had stretching exercises, heel cushions, and a night splint before he did the shot. I think everyone has to make his or her own decision about what helps and what doesn't. The information on this board is helpful, but everyone has to make his or her decision about what is right.
Message # 638

Re: Failed epf Surgery

Posted by eileen on May 26, 1998 at 08:54:32:
I had EPF in aug 97 on the left foot, I do not consider myself a success story by any means, closer to failure would probably be more accurate. I still have pain with walking any more than a 1/4-1/2 mile , just recently re started antiinflamatory drug bid so I can get more exersice, have changed my lifestyle, change jobs from being on my feet all day to sitting at a phone and computer which has helped the pain considerably. Continue to do stretching bid, orthotic daily, unable to wear anything but athletic sneakers and orthotics. I went through all the traditional treatments prior to surgery with only very mild improvement. Lifestyle changes have been the most helpfull. If you would like to have more info. please write me at

Message # 663

Re: Failed epf Surgery

Posted by MAUREEN REYNOLDS on May 29, 1998 at 12:55:10:
Had EPF 2 yrs. ago on right foot after suffering PF 15 yrs. Had done
NSAID, shots, therapy, orthodics for years before. Surgery has made
foot much worse; lifestyle now walk to car and back. Desperate for
relief. Have epilepsy and taken Dilantin for 20 yrs. But had all tests
(EMG, other nerve tests) and no damage apparent. Please recommend any
doctor or treatment possible. Have been to Phila Podiatric Institute,
Dr. Hecht at Hahnemann and others. Everyone gives up on me. Please
help! Thanks.

Message # 721

Re: Failed epf Surgery

Posted by Lynda Spiegel on June 07, 1998 at 17:52:25:
I had and EPF in March of '96 of my right foot because that was the worst. I first had symptoms of PF in both feet in '92 after several years of doing high-impact aerobics. Before my EPF I had my feet taped, cortisone shot, NSAIDs, foot splint, physical therapy with stretching and ultrasound, expensive orthotics as well as heel cups and cushioning. Have seen 4 podiatrists, 2 orthopedists, one rheumatologist. Had 2 more cortisone shots after that procedure. I had a second more open procedure done directly on my heel, about 1 1/2 inches in 1/97. After that procedure I had quite a large lump on my heel, had more physical therapy and 1 more cortisone shot. My podiatrist as a last resort suggested Amitriptyline for nerve pain. I had some results with that but very dry mouth, stopped it this Feb. and saw a pain clinic specialist and am currently in a pain management class. Now I'm on Nortriptyline and Ultram for flare-ups. It hasn't been fun but as I told my podiatrist I'm not sorry I had either procedure because I would have always wondered if I'd done everything possible.
Message # 775

Re: Brainstorming: Exercise ideas for PF and HSpur sufferers?

Posted by EILEEN on June 15, 1998 at 14:39:29:
hi, I have had pf for 2 plus years, surgery epf 10 months ago, I have a nordic trac air walker that I still cannot use due to the stress it puts on my back leg muscles which stress the plantar fascia under the feet. I still stretch twice a day so its not that I am normally that tight. I do continue to have pain with long mall walk, but can do most daily errands without discomfort. I still have not found an exerscie I can do pain free. A few minutes on a regular bike causes the same kind of tightness I experiencee with the air walker. every one is different, try it for a few minutes and try to build up some time and you will know very soon if it bothers you. If you feel increases tightness or pain I would quit immediately. good luck

Message # 783

Re: post op PF surgery and New Balance shoes

Posted by Cindy on June 16, 1998 at 11:56:57:
Hi, I used the New Balance shoes all last summer - I had two pairs of the walking models - can't really remember which ones. I liked them because they are deep and can hold the orthotics well (the shoesalesman told me that's their claim to fame, they are especially made deep to hold orthotics). Otherwise, I didn't find them very comfortable. I'm back to my Nike Air - these are the only shoes I seem to be able to tolerate. Find a good store that sells the New Balance shoes, and a knowledgable sales person, and they might be able to really help you. I went to Nordstrom - if you live where there is one, try that. Good luck. (I also had the epf 6 months ago, but haven't tried the New Balance since then).

Message # 812

birkenstock and persistence

Posted by eileen on June 22, 1998 at 13:09:36:
hi everyone,
I am a 2 plus year survivor of pf, and after having every usual rx for this finally had epf 10 months ago, with only mild sucess from the sugery. So after 2 year I still continued to have mild pain, and could only wear reebock dmx's with orthotic. Every time I tried any other shoe or sneaker I would have pain after 10 min. which would last for days. I tried birkenstocks sandal-the arizona style and one with a back strap with the same pain, was unable to wear them without severe pain. But persistence does pain off. I bought a third pair this time the Monterey style with 2 thick straps one at the toes and one across the top of the foot. I have been wearing them pain free now for 4 days. Its really amazing I can wear them without pain. I do notice some slight discomfort after changing to reebocks under the heel of my feet but I am hoping that with continous use this will pass. But would like to know if anyone elese experienced any discomfort getting use to the birkenstock. I am able to walk in them pain free, but when I am a rest or change to athletic sneaker is when I notice the sl pain. I still stretch twice a day, wear orthotic in the reebocks, take glucosomine 1000 mg/day, 1200mg Calcuim. Any other suggestions would be great.
Message # 814

Has anyone here had epf? I have questions about it.

Posted by Melissa on June 22, 1998 at 15:05:05:
Has anyone here had endoscopic plantar fasciotomy? I'm scheduled for it on July 6 in my left foot. I'm fortunate enough to not have PF in my right foot.

If you have had EPF, how sore were you after surgery? How long was it until you were able to walk around pretty much as much as you wanted? The podiatrist said that it takes 2-4 weeks to recover. Is that about right?

Thank you for sharing your experiences!
Message # 815

Re: Has anyone here had epf? I have questions about it.

Posted by Diane R. on June 22, 1998 at 16:35:49:
Melissa - Sorry to hear you are obviously in so much pain that you have scheduled surgery. Have you tried wearing Birkenstocks (Arizona style) for 100% for 3 mths? I was almost ready (bad PF for 4 years in both feet, but not scheduled yet) to have surgery when I heard about the Birks and now am pain free.

I started out with a commitment to myself that I would wear them full time for 3 mths and if that did not get me to a point where I felt much better I was going for surgery... I was almost pain free in August of last year after starting to wear them in May. I then started glucosamine and calcium/magnesium supplements which I also heard about on this site and got rid of the last little pain. I think you could achieve this too, if you haven't yet tried the birks??

I felt mysel identifying with your pain, and the main reason I responded to your post was that you seem to have some questions regarding this surgery (concerns about pain after surgery,etc.). Many people have posted in the past year to this PF site regarding this endoscopic surgery and also traditional surgery. You should read every single post (in the surgery message area) and all the past and present posts you can access on this site. People have some real scary experiences and I have yet to read where someone is pain free after surgery - some are a lot worse.... and 2-4 weeks of pain would seem very short compared to some who tell of years of pain following surgery. Again, it is strictly your feet and your decision but when you asked if anyone has had EPF surgery, it seemed possible you haven't read all these past posts yet - and it is such a big irreversable step.

Good luck to you whatever you finally decide and if you'd like more info on the birks just e-mail me direct. Diane R.
Message # 818

Re: Has anyone here had epf? I have questions about it.

Posted by Melissa on June 22, 1998 at 17:52:00:
Thank you for your response. I'm not having doubts about the surgery. If I don't have the surgery now, and have to have it during the school year, my career will be ruined since I had ankle surgery last September. I am going into my fifth year of teaching, and I cannot afford to give up my job or change careers at this point. I really love teaching! I either have to have surgery now, or teach all year in pain. My podiatrist says he has a 90% success rate with this procedure. I've been through stretching, heel cushions, ice, night splint (unbearable pain trying to wear that torture device), and three cortisone shots. I haven't worn Birks, but I did try them on one time and found them extremely uncomfortable. I'm also not allowed to wear them to work. I can't use arch supports because they are also painful.

I read nearly all the previous posts about EPF. I found quite a few success stories. It sounds like I stand a decent chance of being fully functional by the time school starts in August if I rest during the weeks after surgery. I had very little pain after my ankle surgery last fall (until I started to try to walk on it), so I wanted to know if that is what I can expect with this surgery.
Message # 823

Re: Has anyone here had epf? I have questions about it.

Posted by Cindy on June 22, 1998 at 22:58:40:
Hi, I had the EPF in Jan 98, right foot only ( I have pf on both feet). My recovery was slower than average; by this I mean that I had a lot of pain when I put any weight on my foot, so I used crutches for many weeks (like at least 6). Then, I wore a big boot instead of a shoe for another 4 or so weeks. So, it was 2.5 months before I was walking pretty well in Nikes again. I put my orthotic in the boot, and walked in that because my foot was still so sore, but the boot keeps it from bending. I did the stretching religiously, 5 times daily. I should add that I started swimming after 3 weeks from the surgery date, and overstretched the healing fascia, which set me way back in healing. I thought I was supposed to reeally swim, later dr said he meant paddle around, not go crazy. I think the surgery was very successful, now; I have no more heel pain at all. My case is complicated by the fact that I have tarsal tunnel (entrapped nerve) and that's very painful, so I didn't get cured. But, the pf is gone, I think; so I feel I would be totally cured if I didn't have another problem. Please e-mail me and I will tell you more, if interested. Best of luck

Message # 831

Re: Has anyone here had epf? I have questions about it.

Posted by eileen on June 24, 1998 at 08:25:23:
Hi Melissa,
I am almost 11 months post EPF on my left foot, and also have it mildly on my right. My orthopedic surgeon was great, I had no complications but a slow recovery which drove me crazy.I did not get complete relief from the surgery. I continue to have mild pain at the inside heel if I do any extended walking or exersicing. It still is better than pre surgery. I am able to do all my regular day to day activities 95% pain free, or only a twinge if I push it slightly. I still think I am better than before surgery although a change in my lifestyle helped as much as the surgery I feel. I changed jobs from being a nurse spending the days on my feet 95% to working at a computer sitting. I still cannot walk more than a mile or so without mild pain, but it does subside. I finally found a pain of birks that I can wear without pain after buying and returning 2 other pair so I now have an alternative to athletic sneakers with orthotic which have been the only thing I have been able to wear pain free for 2 yrs. I am not planning to have surgery on the right since the pain has subsided with the change in lifestyle. Good luck with the surgery, if you would like more info you can e-mail directly also. eileen

Message # 840

What are the pros and cons of cortisone shots???

Posted by Eric on June 25, 1998 at 15:02:42:
I have had PF for almost 10 years. After trying all the conservative treatments, I had epf surgery in January of this year. I can't believe the hell I've been through since then. I'm still in an incredible amount of pain and every time I go back to the surgeon, he just puts me on a different anti-infammatory. I can't seem to get him to tell me what is causing so much pain. The entire heel is still very tender and at the site of the surgery it feels like I'm stepping on a sharp stone with every step I take. UNBEARABLE
! At my recent visit this week, The surgeon wanted to give me a cortisone shot and after questioning him on the success of it, he told me that the shot may make it better or make it a lot worse. Needless to say that after what I've been through i opted not to go ahead with it. He also said that there was a risk of infection with the shot and if that happened, I would have to have surgery again. NO WAY

After all this rambling, I would just like to kmow if anyone else has had anything like this after surgery and also if anyone can tell me of their experience with cortisone shots?
Thanks a million!
Message # 848

Re: What are the pros and cons of cortisone shots???

Posted by Cindy on June 26, 1998 at 12:55:37:
Eric: I had the epf in Jan, too, on one foot. I had a long recovery time (3 months or so) where I still used crutches or the walking boot. But, after that, I have been fine. I have no heel pain, and the insertion cite of the cannula is a little tender to pressure, but not when I walk. Your continued problems this long after the surgery don't seem right to me.

I think you did the right thing by not getting the cortisone from the surgeon. I would recommend that you get a second opinion as to what's going on with your foot before doing anything else invasive.

I have tarsal tunnel, so did just have a cortisone injection into the area where the nerves are entrapped. The dr. spent around 45 minutes numbing my foot first, and I felt no pain with the shot. This is in sharp contrast to the other 4 cortisone injections I've had prior to the surgery (they were into the fascia area, not the nerves). Those drs. just sprayed the numbing agent, and stuck the needle in . I would hereafter insist that the dr. who's giving me a shot take the time and effort to numb the foot first.

As for whether the cortisone will help, you probably had several shots prior to surgery, so know if you react well to them. The 4 I had in each foot prior to surgery didn't help at all. I am hoping that the most recent one will, but have no great expectations.

If you are in the Houston area, I recommend my dr. He is an expert in the EPF (invented the instruments and pioneered the procedure). If you are interested, e-mail me and I'll give you his info. Best of luck

Message # 853

Re: Just got a walking cast--any tips or advice?

Posted by Melissa on June 26, 1998 at 15:43:55:

I had a walking cast for reasons other than PF. I broke my fibula (outer bone of ankle) in '92 and had surgery last September to repair ligaments that went undiagnosed when I broke my ankle. I was in the walking cast for four weeks the first time and three weeks after my surgery. I had so much difficulty walking after both times I was in the walking cast that I would not consider it for PF. The physical therapy after the walking cast was incredibly painful.

I did not try orthotics. In a pamphlet about PF that my podiatrist gave me, it said that orthotics are only tried if taping works. Pictures of taped feet are shown on this website. The taping was tried twice and failed both times.

Do not have any more cortisone shots. My podiatrist told me three in six months are the absolute limit. I had three cortisone shots. My last was two weeks ago and did nothing for the pain.

Since none of these things have worked, I'm scheduled for epf on July 6. My podiatrist told me that I have a 90% chance of that getting rid of my PF. I hope to be part of that 90% who he says have success with this procedure!

I hope your orthotics bring you relief!
Message # 912

Re: planning to have surgery soon

Posted by Cindy on July 03, 1998 at 18:13:29:
Hi, Robin. I had epf in January on one foot - the pf seems to be gone (my foot still hurts for other reasons, so its a little hard to tell). I had a long, slow recovery, but it wasn't especially painful. I used crutches for 6 weeks, and then used a boot and one crutch for another month, at least. Then, I could walk on it just fine. Some drs want you walking on it NOW, the day after surgery, but my dr said it didn't matter, and it didn't. Don't try to do too much too soon, I went swimming after 3 weeks, and tore the healing fascia. No good. I was overly eager to exercise. Ask you dr. about lateral column pain syndrome before the surgery - it happens in a certain # of cases after the fascia is cut. Ask how to avoid it and what will be done if you get it (its a pain on the top of the foot, on the outside, caused by the forces of walking being transferred there when the fascia is still weak and not working for you yet). I was to wear the boot for 6 weeks to avoid it - but, it never came up, since I wasn't walking on my foot anyway
Best of luck; I think you will do just fine.

Message # 980

Re: planning to have surgery soon

Posted by Melissa on July 13, 1998 at 17:35:54:

I just had the epf surgery last Monday, 7/6. They put me to sleep, and I don't remember anything until I somehow found myself fully dressed in the waiting room of the outpatient surgery center where I had the operation. I saw the doctor/podiatrist/surgeon today, and I'm partially weight-bearing, still using crutches and putting just a little weight on the foot that got the surgery. I was completely non-weight bearing for a week. I've had quite a bit of post op pain, but the doctor has been good about prescribing pain medication. I have one stitch on each side of my heel and just a little bruising in the heel. I get the stitches out next Monday. Time will tell whether this surgery was worth it.

If you have any more questions, please e-mail me. I'm still pretty laid up with my foot, so I have time to answer you and give support. Fortunately I'm a teacher, so I don't have to deal with work right now. Best of luck with your surgery!

Message # 981

Re: everyone is scaring me....

Posted by Melissa on July 13, 1998 at 17:48:31:
Nice to see another teacher here!

I had the epf surgery last Monday, 7/6. I had the surgery so that hopefully my PF won't interfere with my teaching this year like it did last year. I had exhausted all the other options anyway, like taping (tried it twice), PT, three cortisone shots, ice, etc. Relafen did not work for me, and on top of it, it cost me almost $40 because my insurance refused to cover it, since it was not on their formulary. However, just because something does not work does not mean that you shouldn't try it. Everybody reacts different to medication, and my system is particularly resistant to the effects of most oral medications. It could work for you. As for being on your feet right away, I have not found that to be true at all. I was non-weight bearing until I saw my doctor this morning. I am now partially weight bearing, meaning that I have to use my crutches to keep most of the weight off the foot that had the surgery. I am 70 pounds overweight and am clumsy on crutches, so I used a wheelchair while I was non-weightbearing. Being able to use the ball of the bad foot a little to maintain my balance has helped me use the crutches starting today. My heel is quite tender and too sore to put weight on yet. I'm using the front part of my foot. I'll still have to use the wheelchair in stores or where there are distances to go.

If you have any questions or just want to talk, please feel free to e-mail me. I hope you get some relief before we go back to work!
Message # 999

Lateral Column Pain???

Posted by Lucy on July 15, 1998 at 20:47:30:
I was wondering if anyone out there has had an experience with lateral column pain after surgery? If so, what does it feel like, where is the pain located and how soon after surgery does it occur? I had epf about 4 months ago and have had pain in just about every part of my foot during recovery. This pain I have on the outside edge of my foot is the latest. My surgeon is a real jerk when it comws to expalining anything that might relate to a complication...might prove that he really isn't God . If I sound bitter, I am. I only had one source of pain before surgery. Now I have at least 4 and becoming really frustated. Thanks.

Message # 1004

Re: Lateral Column Pain???

Posted by Cindy on July 16, 1998 at 13:52:57:
Hi, I feel so bad about your situation. From what I know (which isn't much!), lateral column pain occurs on the TOP of the foot, toward the outside, between the little toe and the ankle bone. So, I don't know if that's what you have or not. I would really suggest that you see a different dr. than your surgeon - he sounds awful.

I had the epf 6 months ago, and various parts of my foot still hurt, too; but, I have a nerve entrapment problem also, so I blame all my pain on that. I hope you can find a dr. to help you. (I have been told that cortisone injections are used for lateral column pain).

Message # 1020

I'm almost convinced that epf was successful!

Posted by Melissa on July 17, 1998 at 18:05:25:

I just thought I would share a positive EPF experience with everybody. My surgery was 7/6, last Monday. I was non-weightbearing until I saw the podiatrist this Monday, 7/13. I'm supposed to be partially weightbearing now, except that my foot has progressed so well that I'm not using the crutches anymore. I no longer have pain in the spot that bothered me the most with PF. My soreness is more toward the very back of my heel rather than near the top of the arch. Even that's not too bad. I get the stitches out this Monday, 7/20. I think the soreness will go away quickly once those come out. I'm being very careful not to overdo my activities, so I'm keeping away from the hazards of swimming and mall walking. I think with adequate rest my foot will be ready for teacher pre-planning which starts August 4. I'm starting to be glad I had this surgery. I can't believe how good my foot feels less than two weeks after surgery.

I know this is not the right option for everyone, and it is a last resort. I wrote this for the benefit of those who might be having this surgery. Some of you were very kind and encouraging when I decided to have EPF, and I thank you for that. Anyone who has any questions or wants more details can feel free to e-mail me.

Message # 1058

Re: My achy foot "POPPED"

Posted by Melissa on July 23, 1998 at 19:03:10:
I'm not a doctor, just a fellow PF sufferer, soon to be ex-PF sufferer due to a successful epf 2 1/2 weeks ago. My podiatrist/surgeon said that when he did my EPF, the fascia 'popped.' He said it made a popping sound when he cut it. Surgeon said this was an excellent sign, and that this helped indicate that my surgery would probably be successful. However, I'm sure this would not be good if it's done by accident. I'm wondering if you may have ruptured your plantar fascia. I would suggest an emergency doctor/orthopedist/podiatrist appointment.
Message # 1071


Posted by Melissa on July 27, 1998 at 15:05:08:

Sorry to hear that you are suffering so much. You are more patient than I have been. There's no way I would have been able to put up with this for a year.

I had epf on July 6. So far, I'm recovering just fine. Everyone around me is amazed that I can get around this well only three weeks after surgery. My suggestion would be that you at least visit another doctor to see what he or she has to say about surgery. I'm also wondering if your current podiatrist is a surgeon, because not all podiatrists are surgeons. If your podiatrist is not a surgeon, that might help explain why he or she is so hesitant to recommend surgery.

Best of luck! If you have any other questions or just need to vent, feel free to e-mail me.

Message # 1093

Follow Debra's suggestions, if those don't work try cortisone.

Posted by Melissa on July 28, 1998 at 12:39:10:

Debra gave you some good suggestions. Try those first. If those don't work, your doctor could try cortisone shots. Don't allow your doctor to give you any more than three within six months time. Cortisone did cure my mother of her PF, but it did not help me. I had to have epf.

Another idea that has helped some people is a night splint. Your doctor may be able to prescribe you one to wear in your sleep.

Feel free to e-mail, and best of luck!

Message # 1094


Posted by Cindy on July 28, 1998 at 12:42:00:
I think you should get a second opinion re: surgery; I don't know if your dr. is a podiatrist or ortho, or what. I think a good podiatrist is your best bet - try to find one who is trained in the endoscopic procedure - most of these people can do the surgery either with the scope or traditional incision - then you can have a valuable discussion re: the pros and cons of each type of surgery. I have had this 3 years, almost. My podiatrist is in Houston is an expert in Endoscopic Fasciotomy - he has a web page (I found him thru Scott's heelspurs page) If you are near Houston, I recommend him. There is also a list of other drs. trained in epf on his page. Good luck

Message # 1095

I prefer podiatrist for insurance reasons.

Posted by Melissa on July 28, 1998 at 12:57:32:
I'm sure opinions vary based on who has had the best luck with what kind of doctor.

For insurance reasons, podiatrists are much easier. Florida law allows you to see one without a referral. The whole city of Orlando has only one orthopedic doctor specializing in feet and ankles, and it's almost impossible to get an appointment in a reasonable amount of time. I would have had to get a referral and then wait six weeks to see this specialist, so I went to a podiatrist.

As for what Kathy said about surgery, I disagree. I think you can have a good surgery experience no matter what kind of doctor does the surgery, as long as it's an orthopedic doctor or a D.P.M. When I had my epf, I had the podiatrist and anesthesiologist (an M.D.) in the operating room. I felt safe and felt that if any complications came up, I would be in good hands. My surgery went very smoothly.

As long as you have a doctor you trust, I think it really doesn't matter what kind of doctor you go to.

To find out more about the kind of training podiatrists receive, go to the following web site:

Good luck no matter what kind of doctor you choose!

Message # 1105

Give us an update on your condition

Posted by Rhonda on July 28, 1998 at 19:54:10:
I'm curious as to whether your feet are still feeling better after your endoscopic surgery? My brother had one foot done by an ortho surgeon and though he was on crutches for months he said it worked about 90%. I have an appt. soon with an Ortho-surgeon but I'm very interested in knowing the results of an epf. Thanks. Rhonda
Message # 1137

Is this a last resort?

Posted by Rhonda on July 29, 1998 at 19:11:59:
I'm wondering how long you've had PF and if you have tried all the conservative approaches to treatment. If so, it sounds as though and endoscopic plantar facsiotomy would be the next step not a hole drilled in your spine to deaden the nerves etc. Have you had an epf? If not, and if you have had PF for several years then I would suggest you look into it before having your spine drilled. Rhonda
Message # 1151

epf totally successful!

Posted by Melissa on July 30, 1998 at 19:20:10:
This is the week that I became totally pain free. I had my EPF on July 6, 3 1/2 weeks ago. I can't see the incisions anymore, and I am pain free, even when I get up in the morning :-)! Everybody who knows I had surgery can't believe it when they see me walking normally, with no limp and normal heel-toe motion.

EPF is a last resort. I'm just posting this success story in case anyone has reached this last resort and is facing this surgery. I would still encourage everyone to exhaust every option listed on this website before considering EPF.

If anyone is going to have this surgery or is considering it, please feel free to e-mail me.

Message # 1154

Re: epf totally successful!

Posted by Debra on July 30, 1998 at 20:38:00:
! I wish you the best

And, a very happy school year

Thanks for yor advise along the way.
Message # 1155

Re: epf totally successful!

Posted by Cindy on July 30, 1998 at 20:49:42:
Melissa: Hooray
That is the best news we've heard in a long time! I guess this means you won't be posting here as much, as a FORMER sufferer, eh? Well, please check in with us in a few months and let us know how its going. Hope you have a happy and successful school year.

Message # 1156

Re: Pain specialists and a drill

Posted by Cindy on July 30, 1998 at 20:54:25:
Thanks for the good info. - I'll see if I can find one here (near Seattle) - we probably have several in the area. The price is high, but I will pay any amount for relief - my ins. won't pay a penny for inserts or shoes. But, they have paid plenty for this condition, so I won't complain. They pd. for 2 MRI's, a bone scan, and 8 or 9 doctors, an epf surgery, etc. So, I have also spent lots of $$ on orthotics, and other gadgets, and acupuncture, and massage, etc. Probably thousands, but I don't want to add it up! Hope these help you - please let us know down the road!

Message # 1164

Who did your surgery?

Posted by Rhonda on July 31, 1998 at 17:54:06:
Congratulations on your successful surgery Melissa! It gives a lot of people with PF hope. Who was your surgeon and where does he live? I live in Victoria, B.C. Canada and apparently there is only one podiatrist who performs the epf routinely; he lives in Toronto.
I hope you continue to be pain free, please do keep us posted!
Message # 1171

Re: epf totally successful!

Posted by Kismet on August 01, 1998 at 07:06:18:
! So glad to hear the good have been very helpful with info on this message board..much appreciated, thanks and congratulations!
Message # 1179


Posted by carol walker on August 02, 1998 at 09:00:30:

Message # 1181

epf is endoscopic plantar fasciotomy.

Posted by Melissa on August 02, 1998 at 09:52:38:

EPF is endoscopic plantar fasciotomy. It's a surgery of last resort for people with PF. It involves one tiny incisions on each side of the heel.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to e-mail me.

Message # 1188

Endoscopic Plantar Facsiotomy

Posted by Rhonda on August 02, 1998 at 22:09:50:
Welcome to the site! The surgery most people are talking about on this site is known as an Endoscopic Plantar Facsiotomy. This is a last resort for people with PF. The Podiatrist makes two small incisions on either side of the heel to gain access to the facsia which he cuts (releases). This method has a faster healing time, but other methods allow more investigative viewing and precision cutting. My brother had his PF operation done by an Orthopedic surgeon instead. In this method the surgeon made a 2 inch incision and then cut the facsia. It took about 2 months or more to heal but it did work for him. He still has heel discomfort but not nearly to the same extent. Both methods have their pros and cons...the important thing is to get someone who does this kind of surgery regularily. For more info on epf enter Endoscopic Plantar Facsiotomy into either Yahoo or Excite engine and I'm sure you'll find out a lot more about it. Best of luck. Rhonda
Message # 1194

Re: Laser surgery for heel spurs

Posted by Cindy on August 03, 1998 at 10:29:02:
THis web page has a link to Dr. Stephen Barrett, DPM, in Houston, (in case you can't find it, the address is Dr. Barrett pioneered the epf; he also invented the cannula that is used, and he's trained 2,000 drs. to do the procedure all over the world. He performed my EPF last Jan. - I highly recommend him if you can get to Houston (I live in Seattle, flew down for 2 days, flew home same day as surgery - had local doc. follow-up and remove stitches, then Dr. Barrett followed me by phone for 2 months). He's very nice, attentive, believes what you say, doesn't think its in your head, etc. Check out his web page. And, good luck.

Message # 1197

One foot

Posted by Melissa on August 03, 1998 at 15:55:56:

I only had (past tense now!) PF in my left foot, so that's the foot that got epf.

Message # 1198

name of my surgeon

Posted by Melissa on August 03, 1998 at 16:04:53:

If you are in Florida, I recommend David Moats, D.P.M. with Orlando Foot and Ankle Clinic. He's worth traveling out of your way for. His personality is very much like Cindy's description of Dr. Barrett. Dr. Moats believes what you say and only does epf as a last resort.

Feel free to e-mail me with any questions you have. I had EPF exactly four weeks ago today. I walked about eight blocks today in 1 1/2" heels totally pain free.

Good luck!

Message # 1211

Re: epf totally successful!

Posted by Doug Padian on August 04, 1998 at 18:20:12:
Melissa: Did you have pain focused in the heel? Did it hurt more in the morning when you got out of bed, or did it hurt just the same?
Message # 1221

Re: My formula for best relief in years

Posted by Cindy on August 05, 1998 at 19:09:58:
Boy, Annette, I don't know how you have done it all these years. Sounds just miserable - I know what you mean about thinking you might not be able to work. In the past 3 years, there have been long periods of time (2-3 months) where I could not work at all - all I could do was lay on the couch, and it was a big deal to hobble to bathroom. I sure couldn't work then. I had the epf on right foot in Jan., and got rid of the stabbing pain in my heel, but I am still miserable cuz of entrapped nerves on both feet. I sure do empathize. I wish you the world of luck in school. This is a long, tough trail we're on.

Message # 1244

Do not have more than three shots in six months time.

Posted by Melissa on August 08, 1998 at 18:45:13:
Cortisone shots do not hurt any more than any other shot. Make sure the doctor uses freeze spray to help numb the skin before sticking you. You will be able to walk after the shot and return to work just fine.

Whatever you do, do not have any more than three shots in six months time, because more than that can damage the fat pad on the bottom of your heel.

My mother was cured of PF in both her feet by having cortisone shots. I had three, and the first worked five days. The last two did not give me any relief, so I had epf.

Good luck!


Message # 1262

Just diagnosed with PF

Posted by Carol on August 10, 1998 at 19:11:21:
I just went to a podiatrist 8/3/98 after 2 - 3 months of heel pain.
I could hardly walk in the mornings or after sitting for a time. He
told me what the diagnosis probably was, took x-rays, gave me a
steroid/anti-inflammatory shot and told me what could be done for PF.
I went back today, I have a heel spur on my right foot but that is not the foot with extreme pain. I got relief for about 1 1/2 days then the pain came back. I just started walking about 3 months ago. I was
pretty much sedentary. He did not suggest any more shots for which I am glad, because it hurt. But he did suggest epf. He wants me to make a decision on the surgery and get back to him.

I don't know what I should do. Reading this bulletin board and this
web page have made me more indecisive.

Hope someone can give me some insight.
Message # 1268

It's too soon for surgery. Do all the conservative treatments first.

Posted by Melissa on August 10, 1998 at 20:37:00:

I agree with Ginny. It is way too soon to consider surgery. epf is a last resort. Some of your options are stretching exercises for at least a month, ice, night splint (takes a few weeks to know if that works) more cortisone (up to two more shots), strapping, physical therapy, supportive shoes, anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroid medication, and orthotics. Cortisone shots should only be done if all the other things I listed don't work.

I'm concerned that your doctor would recommend surgery when you were only diagnosed last Monday. Perhaps you should try to find a more conservative doctor. Statistically, only 10% of PF sufferers require EPF. That means the options I listed above work for 90% of the people.

I can understand that you are confused about this board. This board has a wealth of information and opinions. Read the information keeping in mind that what works for one person may not work for another. No treatment is 100% effective, including EPF (85-95% success rate). Don't put too much weight on any one opinion. After I exhausted all the conservative options above, I mentioned on the board that I was scheduled for EPF. Some people vehemently argued against my having the surgery, and others supported my decision. Ultimately you have to decide and do what is right for you.

Feel free to e-mail me. I hope everything works out for you, and that whatever conservative options you try relieve your pain.

Message # 1282

Re: Just diagnosed with PF/surgery

Posted by Gina on August 11, 1998 at 18:23:03:
I have been treated for PF for almost a year and a half. During that time one podiatrist flatly refused to do surgery because I can still walk. Last week, an orthopedic surgeon told me that he does not like to do any surgery for this problem and if it were his foot, he would endure a LOT of pain before allowing anyone to perform this procedure on him. Can't even find anyone in my city doing epf; everyone I've talked to says it doesn't allow for enough visualization and has more severe complications if something goes wrong. If the doctors are this hesitant to operate, you might want to wait a while!
Message # 1292

Re: Just diagnosed with PF/surgery

Posted by Rhonda on August 12, 1998 at 20:57:57:
I've had severe PF for 2 1/2 years. Couldn't even put my foot down for the first 6 months. I went yesterday to an Orthopedic surgeon as a last resort. He said only 1% get the surgery and of those only 50% are successful (This is with the traditional incision done by a surgeon not an epf done by a podiatrist). He said the lack of visibility during the EPF results in many failures and can compound the problem. Believe me, I know how frustrating and painful this condition is and I know there is nothing worse than being told to be patient. Please get a second opinion. I've never heard of a podiatrist being willing to do this EPF unless the patient has had the PF for at least 1 year and so severely that they can barely walk. Best of luck with your decision. Rhonda
Message # 1465

Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy complications & consequences

Posted by Scott on August 26, 1998 at 18:04:10:
I have noticed some internet ads for the endoscopic plantar fasciotomy. They sound fantastic

Only my roommate had pain in his feet for about two years. He had a job where he had to stand all day, so the pain interferred with work, home, etc.

He underwent epf on both feet. The results were disastrous. He is disabled as a result and it is pitiful to see a 30 year old young man's life so shaken from the epf's.

Together we are researching complications and consequences of the endoscopic plantar fasciotomy. We have gathered much literature in this regard in an effort to compose a web-site for educational purposes only.

Many familiar with the internet know of the vast resources of information about foot pain, heel pain, etc. The BEST decision a person can make is an INFORMED decision. And that means knowing the pro's and cons of any treatment.

We've searched the net with many subjects and keywords yet find very little information about the problems patients have experienced with epf. However we were successful in retrieving many articles in the various journals.

I do not believe that any comprehensive study has been undertaken to explore or compile complications or consequences to epf. I think that some patients that have adverse experiences quietly seek another physician's help. Even if they stay with the doctor that performed epf there is not one national register for "epf complications".

Besides, what doctor wants to report a "failure?"

This is posted as a request for any personal experience, feedback or suggestions. We will be launching the web-site but would benefit from the advice of others.

There are multiple, multiple conservative approaches. Combinations of the conservative approaches.

EPF has disabled a friend of mine. The few retro-spective analyses are eye-opening and we're hoping to be able to gather honest feedback from people that have had epf or know someone who has.

And keep an open mind. I am confident that you'll be alarmed.
Message # 1471

Vicky, before having surgery

Posted by Rhonda on August 27, 1998 at 00:27:35:
Hi Vicky,
before having surgery I suggest you read Scot's note about his friend who has become disabled by the epf. I don't know which type of surgery you are going to have and I don't mean to discourage you ...just hope you are aware of all the possibilities. Best of luck.
Message # 1476

Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy Success

Posted by diana of Fresno on August 27, 1998 at 17:22:20:
I had the epf surgery sometime in 1993 on my left heel, and all I can say is that I have had almost no problems. I now have a spur on my right heel and am attempting to get the surgery approved again. Because of the over compensation for the pain on my right heel I am now feeling minor pain on my left heel, so I have to be careful not to put too much stress on it (that is the almost no problems mentioned ealier). Of course I am fighting my insurance to allow me to go to the same podiatrist that performed the first surgery because the only podiatrist on my current plan that performs the surgery is not capable of the same performance level (in my opinion!). I am however receiving a lot of negativity from my current podiatrist about the surgery and he claims the problems from the surgery outweigh the few successes; however, it is hard to listen to him when I am one of the few success stories. I can only hope I am so lucky with the second surgery.
Message # 1478

Re: Second epf

Posted by Scott on August 27, 1998 at 21:03:01:
It's great to hear of your success with epf.

Before you have the second, at least review any conservative approaches. Even if you have to have your foot cast for six weeks or take time from work, etc. it might prevent the second surgery.

The spur is just a consequence of the plantar fasciitis. It's presence with the pain are not justification enough for the second surgery.

There will always be "overcompensation". Just think how bad it could be while you recover from surgery. Then you'll be placing more weight on left (while right heals). Then left will hurt. You'll shift to right and potentially interfere with healing.

These are my opinions, only. It's great to hear of your success. There are some studies that indicate up to 8% complications with epf. And some of these are severe.

You're obviously well-informed becaue this web-site is filled with information. Take advantage of this web-site and forum to ask others about the second surgery.

My friend's experience has been traumatic. After researching it seems as if the conservative approaches are unlimited, especially if certain approaches are used in combination.

Even stretching exercises are worth another try. One orthopedic physician has his patient demonstrate their entire stretching ritual just to make certain they don't leave office and stretch incorrectly and exacerbate problem.

Again these are only my sentiments on subject. My position is that after research I've learned of several complications to epf. These were not easy to locate. As a patient, I would want to know all of these before any procedure. If they are not so easily accessed, how can a patient make a thoughtful decision?

Read some of the posts from post-op surgery and ask others their opinion. One comment says that the posts aren't fair representation because those with good results have no need to write. Even if that is the case, I think I'd rather know any potential problems.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
Message # 1524

Re: Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy unsure results

Posted by Laura on August 31, 1998 at 13:13:12:
Hi all,

I had epf on both feet a couple of years ago. A year or so apart. I am still having pain in both feet, the right more so than the left. I am learning to wear birkenstocks and dansko for relief. I went back to my doc and he said I should not have any pain at all. I said that I always have had pain. I take that back the month of May was very nice because I walked pain free. (I have no idea what I have done different) Anyway, the doc said that I probably have tarsal tunnel syndrome. I have been researching that and I don't exhibit any symptons of that. Though I do have soreness and some swelling along the side of my ankle. Any ideas out there? Any help for relief?

Message # 1530

In the midst of major relapse after epf -- curious about this, too

Posted by Melissa on August 31, 1998 at 17:23:10:
I'm very sorry to have to admit that I'm in the midst of a very painful PF relapse. I was totally pain free for three weeks after my EPF. It took three weeks to recover, then I was pain free three weeks. My relapse started a week and a half ago, and it's been getting worse ever since. The podiatrist gave me a cortisone shot last Monday and put me in a soft cast (Unna boot) for three days. The soft cast cut my pain by at least half, and it was comfortable to run around my classroom in. After three days of almost unbearable pain, I had an emergency visit to my podiatrist again today. I'm back in the soft cast until I pick up my 3-d walker from the orthotics place tomorrow or Wednesday. It goes from the toes to just below the knee has padding that covers the lower leg. It attaches with six wide velcro straps and has two heavy, thick metal bars running down each side. I have to wear it for at least three weeks. Anyone had any success with this? I wore one last year after ankle surgery, and I found it to be so comfortable that I wore it out and my nasty podiatrist (not the one I have now) accused me of being addicted to it (wore it longer than I was supposed to because it enabled me to work with very little discomfort).

Merle and Bonnie, you have my full empathy on being in the walking cast. Those things always seem to itch where you can't reach at 1 a.m.! I hope that works for you, and I hope my boot works so I don't have to join you!

Message # 1659

Re: how about an orthopedic surgeon?

Posted by Agree with Gina on September 06, 1998 at 21:31:25:
I agree with Gina...perhaps the opinion of a good ortho. surgeon would be best. Podiatrists can be much to eager. However, if you are looking for a podiatrist for surgery in the Texas area I believe if you check the old postings you will find the name of the podiatrist who developed the Endoscopic Plantar Facsiiotomy procedure and he also invented the instruments. One woman wrote that she flew from Seattle to Houston to get him to do her epf. His name is Dr. Stephen Barrett. But before doing anything so drastic I'd suggest total will never heal if you continue to stand on concrete. Let us know what you decide and how it all turns out. Rhonda
Message # 1682

epf failed; what next?

Posted by Melissa on September 07, 1998 at 20:22:02:
Last Monday, my podiatrist confirmed that the EPF I had on July 6th did not work. When I asked him if I was still recovering from surgery, he said "That foot will continue acting that way as long as you are walking on it at work." He's usually hopeful, but this time he was not. Now he's just trying to keep me working and as comfortable as possible. A colleague of mine who had EPF at the same surgery center I did but with a different podiatrist said her operation worked, but it took over a year until she was pain free. I've resigned myself to teaching all year with PF pain, with the hope that I'll be recovered by next summer.

In the mean time, is there anybody who has had the EPF who can give me suggestions for what has worked after the surgery and after that first few weeks of recovery? I'm in a cast boot right now, and will be in that for at least the next two weeks. That helps decrease my pain at work and move around my classroom easier. However, the weekend comes, and I end up being laid up with intense stabs of pain shooting up and down the inside of my arch. Even Demerol has failed to kill the pain. I would like to do something besides work and sit in front of the television.

Thank you in advance for any ideas you have!

Message # 1705

anyone with pf in Atlanta?

Posted by Margie W. on September 08, 1998 at 16:31:02:
I've had pf on and off for about 8 years. It's gone from right to left and back again. For the past year it's been really bad in the left foot. I just found this web site about a month ago. Actually, I was scheduled to have epf surgery on September 4th but cancelled. After reading all the posts, I decided it wasn't worth the risk. I have taken the advise of Diane R. and Lisa Chaken and bought Birkenstocks which I am wearing 100% of the time, taking Glucosamine Sulfate and calcium with magnesium, icing, stretching carefully, and wearing the night splint which Beth Kane so graciously sent me. This has made it much easier to get out of bed in the morning even though it's hell to sleep with! I want to thank Scott for this web site as this has helped many of us in our quests for relief from this awful affliction. Like most of us I have very good days and very bad days with my pf. I am constantly worried that it will move to my right foot too. I believe that this is a condition we will have for the rest of our lives (which is quite depressing) and we must try to find out which combination of things help our particular feet. Reading about what has worked for others and experimenting is the best thing we can do. I know from the years past when I was able to control pf, this time I did everything wrong. I didn't listen to my body, slow down, and rest. I will never again buy cheap shoes, especially sandals just because they're cute. When and if I ever get my pf under control, I now know all the right things to do to keep it that way.
I am 43 and have a husband who runs and two active teenage sons. Sometimes I get really depressed that I cannot even take a walk like my 80 year old mother does every day! We all need to keep our chins up and be thankful of the good days. There is always something cancer.
Message # 1783

Re: Pain on top

Posted by Cindy on September 11, 1998 at 16:37:15:
Be sure to ask your drs. about Lateral Column Pain Syndrome, cuz that's where it would be located. I learned about this when Dr. Barrett in Houston did ;my epf in Jan. 98 - he had me wear a Cam Boot for 6 weeks because my feet are "hypermobile" which makes me susceptible to Lateral column pain. The cure, as I remember him saying, is cortisone shots and rest, and all the same stuff you do for PF.

Message # 1784

Re: how about an orthopedic surgeon?

Posted by Cindy on September 11, 1998 at 16:49:56:
Hi, I'm the woman from Seattle that flew to Houston to have Dr. Barrett do my epf. (I think it worked, the stabbing pain in my heel is gone, but I have an entrapped nerve causing problems now, which is a separate problem). Dr. Barrett is truly a kind, compassionate, and attentive dr. His follow-up by phone was fabulous; he called ME if I forgot to call him on schedule after the surgery. He is extremely knowledgable and won't perfom any EPF is he's not sure about it. He has a web page at I would recommend him highly. Good luck

Message # 1800

PF, epf, Disability, Lawyers...first hand knowledge

Posted by John P on September 12, 1998 at 17:57:01:
I am 32 years old and disabled.

I was diagnosed with Plantar fasciitis and about two years ago underwent endoscopic plantar fasciotomy (EPF).

After the procedures, my pain worsened exponentially.

I am intimately familiar with the emotional devestation of a physical disability and the "baggage" that comes with the disability.

Prior to EPF's I worked in medical industry. I was 30 and financially very well off. I had a great job, and had worked in my profession for 9 years. I had just bought a beautiful new home.

That was almost two years ago. The pain in my feet was crippling. I searched the internet for information about PF and EPF. There was little to be found and I felt all alone.

I was unable to work. Unable to perform most daily duties around house. I had to liquidate everything I owned and was planning on moving in with my mother or finding an assisted living apartment.

Why am I writing? A few months back I came accross a group of lawyers, FOOTLAW. I communicated with them. They were highly professional and kind.

They are representing me in a medical mal-practice suit as well as with disability benefits from my insurance carrier.

Regardless of the out-come of any lawsuit or insurance company, they have been instrumental in my finally (after two years) finding relief which is PRICELESS.

I wish I had known of them sooner, and am hoping that my sharing this might benefit someone else. I am not affiliated in any way with them, other than as a client.

The lady that wrote of her success in social security without a lawyer is fortunate. Each case is different, and your physician plays a vital role in determination of benefits.

Depending on your situation you might not have the resources or physical capacity to "fight" a large insurance company.

There are many studies of complications to surgeries in the feet. I had a hard time finding any on EPF, but I have and they can be quite serious.

There were multiple instances where the Footlaw group brought things to my attention that I had not thought to look in to. I personally found having a "third party" reviewing my records and looking out for my best interests to be advantageous.

Request copies of your personal medical records. Review them. Are they an accurate representation of your medical history? Did or does your doctor's notes indicate his/her complete understanding of your situation? You might be surprised. You might be disgusted.

You doctor should not have any problem releasing a copy of your records to you. This pain is effecting your life. It is to your benefit to learn how to be involved in finding the best treatment available.

Is your condition a consequence of a surgery that should not have been performed? Should you have been referred to another physician? If you have had pain for this long and the doctor is not able to help shouldn't he/she be involved with helping you find a doctor best suited to address your condition?
How would you feel if your doctor considered you a "hypochondriac?"

Over two years I have searched in desperation for answers. There was something very wrong with my feet. I watched my world crumble around me. And I was no better.

Guess what...there are many other causes of pain in the feet, other than plantar fasciitis
! My original podiatrist continuously assured me that the foot was "quite simple". He was confident in my diagnosis.

Over time I learned about many approaches that should have been considered before surgery. I trusted my doctor--he was "high-tech".
I asked for EMG, MRI. Not necessary, he said. He was confident.

Anyway--I've left my email address so if anyone has a specific question feel free to write. This is my two-cents worth.

The Footlaw group has been of tremendous personal benefit.

I hope you all the best in your pursuit of relief and answers.

Message # 1942

Re: Failed epf Surgery

Posted by Peggy on September 24, 1998 at 19:08:37:
I have been off work since Oct. 1997. Before that I worked on a Casino boat, working 12 hour shifts for the just over two years. Lots of time on my feet. In 1996 my feet started bothering me. I went and bought the best shoes recommended by the shoe deailer {SAS} along with generic orthodics. They worked for a while. The pain came back worse than before. In April of 1997 I received injections of cortizone in both heels. For three weeks I could barly walk. Iwas given a sit down job for this time period. The Dr. said if it dosn't work I should see a speicalist. In Oct. of 1997 I went to see a DMP and received two more injections. The first visit he was talking surgery because of my history and because I had tried all other methods of relief. He suggested time off and I was off for 3 months sick leave to see if it would help. It didn't. I had my first EPF on my fight foot in Jan 98 and the left in Mar 98. The pain is worse than before surgery, my gate has changed causing ankel problems. The night splints seem to help that, but my arches and heels ache constantly. The worst pain is localized around the scar tissue caused by surgery and wearing custom orthodics is impossible. I continue with PT, ultrasound, icing, and massages. I can't walk a block without pain and I don't see any relief in the near future. By the way, the surgeon is convinced he fixed the PF, claiming never to have failed, and wants me to see a psychologist. I think he needs one for his ego. Even after that he recommended additinal shots. Go figure!

Message # 1985

Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy

Posted by Richard O. Lundeen DPM on October 31, 1998 at 09:47:08:
Our epf study is finally complete. If you wish I can e-mail it to you for posting. We surveyed 134 epf-only patients and scored a 90+ percent satisfaction rating, i.e. they would have the surgery again AND reccommend the procedure to another person.
Hope ypu're not getting burned out on maintaining this've done a great job so far
Keep it up!
Message # 2011

Re: Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy

Posted by Roz on November 01, 1998 at 23:20:57:
I find this extremely hard to believe. It seems as if most people who had
surgery on this board are in worse pain or permanently disabled. Could it
be that the people who post here are always in the 10% of doctors'
patients that didn't get helped by epf? Also, of the people that didn't
get helped in your survey, did any of them get worse as a result of the

Message # 2021

Re: recovering from surgery

Posted by eileen on November 03, 1998 at 13:03:24:
The recovery time from epf surgery can be 6-12 month. So please try to be patient. The more you rest and do not reinflame the surgical area the better the healing will be. the surgeons are not completely honest and upfront on recovery time untill after surgery. I was originally told I would be up and better in a few weeks. Acually in a way I was. I was on crutches and a boot for 3-4 weeks and then in an orthotic and athletic shoe after. He told me I needed to be extremely cautious and go very slow for the first 3 months while the healing was taking place. So I did the best I could. Unfortunitely I did not have complete relief of pain from the surgery. Did left foot and then cancelled the surgery on the right since I did not feel it was worth it. My best relief from pain has been a change in jobs to one sitting, not on my feet all day, continue to stretch 2 times daily, wearing birk, most of the day. I am still on antiinflamatory meds which help and glucosomine 1000 mg. ( not sure this works). I am 99% pain free if I do not overextend myself, like walking long distances. good luck and have a little patience. eileen

Message # 2030

Re: Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy

Posted by Sharon on November 03, 1998 at 20:09:04:
Yes, please email the epf Study results! I'm having surgery
this Thursday and I sure could use some POSITIVE response.
I'm very nervous as it is, but with some of these comments,
It doesn't seem to be a very successful procedure? My doctor
tells me that I should be back to work in 4 weeks or less.
I sure hope he's right.. Sharon
Message # 2039

Re: Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy

Posted by suzi on November 04, 1998 at 17:20:07:
I know this sounds absolutely crazy, because most of us have not had great luck with surgery but I have a friend who had pf for ONLY 6 months, and got a cortisone injection once a week for 6 months (yikes!) and found a doctor to do the epf surgery for her. (Most doctors make you wait at least a year to make sure you have exhausted all conservative treatments.) Anyway, She has COMPLETELY recovered! in fact she now jogs 8 miles a day with two babies in a double jogging stroller
! How nutty does this sound??? I know this sounds insane, but it is a true story. From what I can gather, surgery works for some people amazingly well, and is a complete disaster for others. I guess there's no telling who will be a success story, but this one sure is a success story! I am amazed at how many cortisone shots she had in such a short period of time, I hope she has no long term complications.

Message # 2040

Re: Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy

Posted by suzi on November 04, 1998 at 17:20:10:
I know this sounds absolutely crazy, because most of us have not had great luck with surgery but I have a friend who had pf for ONLY 6 months, and got a cortisone injection once a week for 6 months (yikes!) and found a doctor to do the epf surgery for her. (Most doctors make you wait at least a year to make sure you have exhausted all conservative treatments.) Anyway, She has COMPLETELY recovered! in fact she now jogs 8 miles a day with two babies in a double jogging stroller
! How nutty does this sound??? I know this sounds insane, but it is a true story. From what I can gather, surgery works for some people amazingly well, and is a complete disaster for others. I guess there's no telling who will be a success story, but this one sure is a success story! I am amazed at how many cortisone shots she had in such a short period of time, I hope she has no long term complications.

Message # 2057

Re: Walking Is A Pain!

Posted by higgi on November 06, 1998 at 06:52:21:
hey! I cantruly undderstand what you are going through. I am employed by U.P.S. and i have to walk on cement all day for 8-11 hours a day. I'm in pretty good shape but just happened to my. I have had epf surgery on 11/5/98 I hope this helps me. But maybe you can have the shoots in the soles of your feet. Or start a simple exercise. Before getting out of bed try streching you heel by pointing your toes down and up for 5 -10 min. and always put your slippers before walking to the bath. Even massage can help.

Message # 2271

Surgery Repost

Posted by Scott on 11/18/98
Here's an interesting discussion posted previously. I'm posting it here because a search feature will be added so that old posts can be found.

It has been a while since I posted, and I
want to see if anyone has had this new
procedure my new podiatrist is thinking I will
have to have next summer.

I was pain free from the fourth through
sixth week after my epf in July. After I
had been back to work two weeks (teacher),
the pain came back worse than ever. I had
one more cortisone shot, and I've been in a
cast boot (metal bars down the sides and
attaches with velcro) since the first week
of September. That has enabled me to work,
but it has done nothing for the sharp,
shooting pain I get later in the day and at
night. I wear the boot to bed so that I have
less pain at night. Now I'm having ankle pain
because of being in the boot so long. I'm now
going through two weeks of physical therapy.

For two months, I've been trying to get my podiatrist
(the one who did the EPF) to tell me what's wrong with
my foot, since the pain is much worse than before the
surgery. He has refused to tell me, and gets angry when
I ask. I finally went to a podiatrist yesterday who was
highly recommended by a colleague of mine. He determined
that my podiatrist who did the EPF trapped a nerve on the
bottom of my foot. No wonder my podiatrist was so reluctant
to tell me! I'm partially flat footed, and that greatly
narrowed the margin of error in doing the EPF. Now scar
tissue from the surgery, plus PF, plus walking all day is
pinching the nerve (Somehow it's called pinched nerve in
your back and nerve entrapment in your foot.). Anyway, the
recommendation is orthotics (already ordered by doc who did
the EPF), physical therapy, and a rather extensive surgery
next summer after school gets out.

This new surgery involves general anesthesia, and a three
to four inch incision shaped like an 'L' on the bottom of
the foot. It is done in the arch as opposed to the heel.
This podiatrist I saw yesterday said that it would relieve
the nerve entrapment and the EPF. It enables the surgeon
to see much clearer the structures and nerves inside the
foot. It also minimizes scar formation.This doctor
doesn't do the procedure and says that it's new. Anyone
ever heard of anything like this?


Diane R. (DIANE5)
10/28/98 10:12 PM
So sorry to hear the surgery was so unsuccessful for you - I have come to feel that is
the case for most people, actually, after reading so much on these heel spur sites. I
have yet to see anyone who is a year past surgery come on and say they had such and
such done, by so and so, and are now pain free. Instead most people appear to be in
more pain and are more disabled than with the orginal PF problem.

Also, I don't know anything about the new surgery you are contemplating but do have a
friend who (several years ago) got the full PF release type surgery (before endoscopy
was around) and it resulted in more pain, scar tissue etc. etc. She has had two later
surgeries to try and relieve this but nothing has worked. She told me not to get started
with surgeries and I believe her.

Now that you have had one surgery, I feel unqualified to really give any advice as to
what might help the pain - as I haven't had any experience with nerve entrapment/scar
tissue etc. What works for me may not work with these added nerve/scar tissue
problems. Have you tried birks? How about glucosamine with sulfate?? These work
well for PF and they help me but... maybe someone out there can tell you if it has
helped them with post surgery pain like you are having?? Or is there somethingelse that
works for them??

Another friend has had so many back surgeries (5 or 6) - each one being the one that
was to fix what the others had failed to do or to correct problems caused by previous
surgeries. His back is such a mess they can't do the anything more for him. He is on
morphine constantly and it does not help anymore. He went to see about that new nerve
implant device that they show on tv where it blocks the pain impluses to the brain etc.
They tried the procedure but his nerves are so misplaced/re-routed from his previous
surgeries that the electrodes generated impluses/spasms into the chest area and caused
potential heart problems - so they had to quit right in the middle of the procedure and tell
him he would not be a successful candidate for this pain relief method. They said if he
hadn't had so many surgeries they probably could have helped him. The only resort left
to him is some sort of permanent morphone drip that goes right into this spinal area.

I'm not trying to discourage you with all this info, but rather to warn you to be really
careful about who you let do what to your body. You have to live with the
consequences and then they (the dr.'s - like the one who is mad at you now) just get
angry and defensive when you aren't cured or complain of pain that doesn't go away.
They take it as a criticism of their "God-like image of themselves"...and they sure do not
like that... but then they are not living with the pain the way you are.

So, please just do alot of checking... I would want to talk to some people who had
whatever procedure you may decide on, done by the same doctor and who he says are
cured by him, etc. If he doesn't have cured people he can let you talk to then what does
that say about his success rate??

You sure have some tough decisions to make - I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers
that if you do go in for another surgery it works to help you this time.

Bead (BEAD)
3 of 6
10/28/98 11:16 PM

I think Diane gave you very good advice. The only thing I
would want to add is to be careful of podiatrists, their
training is much less that orthopedic people. I ccertainly
would try accupunture before any more surgury. Good Luck ,
From: (BECKYB1)

10/28/98 11:37 PM

Please really reconsider when thinking of seeing as Podiatrist or getting the EPF. Both
failed for me.
I think for those of us who have tried everything (and no I haven't done accupuncute or
taped yet), hopefully the Ossatron will be the answer.
By the way for those of you who are wondering. I am still huring from the blind study I
got. I don't think I got the real thing. Am taking a lot of ibu as usual.

gcul (GCUL)

So sorry to hear of your surgery outcome. I don't know anything about the type of
surgery now recommended. But in my experience, podiatrists are much more likely to
want to do surgery than orthopedic surgeons. I would suggest you get a few second
opinions with one being from an orthopedic surgeon, especially one who specializes in
foot and ankle. I know they are difficult to get appointments with, but usually you can
can get in more quickly if you specifically say you need a second surgical opinion. Hope
things work out for you.




Top of Page
Message 555
6 of 6
11/3/98 4:53 PM
Reply to:

Oh, Melissa, I knew it must be you when I read the heading about the failed EPF. I had
hoped that you were doing better by now. This is cindy near Seattle, I had the EPF last
January by Dr. Barrett in Houston. I am still having just a terrible time with both feet. I,
and the drs., think the EPF worked to get rid of the PF, but now I have trapped nerves
in both feet. At first, they thought it was Tarsal tunnel, which is a trapped nerve under
the round ankle bone area. But 3 nerve conduction studies don't prove it, altho. the drs.
say those aren't a 100% perfect test. So, now I have seen 2 very good orthopedic
surgeons, one in North Carolina, recommended by Peggy Whitesides, our friend on this
board, and one in Seattle recommended by the Dr. in North Carolina. These drs. are
both ankle and foot specialists, and I really liked the dr. in North Carolina; the guy in
Seattle was pretty abrupt and forward. Anyway, they both agree that I have a trapped
nerve (the posterior tibial nerve), but its not trapped in the tarsal tunnel (which is a
specific space near the ankle bone), but below that, in muscle and fascia. The bad news
is that neither of them thinks the surgery will be very successful. The dr. in North
Carolina was more optimistic, saying 70% of the people operated on get 70% relief.
But, the dr. in Seattle was less enthused, and told me point blank that he would follow
me for 4 weeks post-op and then didn't want to be stuck with me as a chronic pain
patient! So, that tells you a lot what he thinks about the possible success of the surgery.

I don't know anything about the "new" surgery your dr. described, but it must be similar
to what I would have. I would have the L shaped incision, and then the dr. would try to
pull the muscle back from the nerve, and then we pray. There is a good risk of scar
tissue, which will squeeze the nerve more. So, I have decided to try everything else I
can before I would try this surgery. I forgot to say, I also saw a group of 10 podiatrists
at a "grand rounds" prsentattion of my case by my podiatrist. All 10 podiatrists also think
I have a trapped nerve, and that surgery won't be very helpful. Nobody had any ideas
of what else to do (I've done a lot already, that's why). The dr. in N. Carolina wrote a
prescription for new shoe inserts, which I got, and they haven't helped at all. $250
again! But, they are more comfy cuz they are a little softer.

I most recently saw a pain specialist in Laredo, TX; he is very nice, very competent,
and has very good credentials. He thought I might have RSD (now called the Complex
Regional Pain Syndrome instead of Reflex sympathetic dystrophy), but said I only have
some of the symptoms, not all of them. Anyway, I went down a second time and he did
a sympathetic nerve block in the hospital; then, he inserted a catheter in my back, and I
went to his office 3 days in a row for injections into the catheter to try to numb the
sympathetic nerves. Well, the upshot is, it didn't work. So, he says that pretty much
rules out that its the small, sympathetic nerves causing my pain, and it is the larger
nerves (posterior tibial). He said I could get an implant that would stimuate the nerve,
and it works on the larger nerves, not just the small ones that the nerve block work on.
He said a dr. in South Carolina is more expert than he is at that, and he would refer me.

But, I decided to hold off on any more procedures for a while. So, he put me on very
strong narcotic meds, which have helped a lot,but I still can't complete a trip to the
grocery store, or walk around the block (I tried to walk for 5 minutes on Sat., after 2.5
minutes, my feet were killing me, and this was with the drugs!). so, I think I will need a
stronger dose, and there are risks with that, of course. He says I can take the drugs for
life if needed and if they help. I don't know if I want to do that, but if I can get more
relief than I have now, I guess I would do it.

So, if you would like any more info. on the drs. I have seen, or ask any questions, please
e-mail me. It sounds like we have a very similar problem. I agree with the others that
you need to see an ortho. that specializes in foot and ankle. Maybe 2 or 3 of them, then
decide. I know how awful this is, believe me. My prayers are with you, and all of us!
Love, Cindy

Message # 2314

More Surgery Reposts

Posted by Scott on 11/20/98
The Delphi board was good because people posted in-depth info.

1 of 8
10/25/98 1:23 AM
Reply to:
New Thread

After 2.5 yrs. of pain, I finally got an x-ray done and sure enough my worst fears. I
have one very large spur (doc said it's the biggest he's ever seen) coming off the heel
bone toward the arch of left foot, also one smaller going towards the back of heel on
other side of heel bone and then there's a growth on the ball of my foot he couldn't
identify. Now headed to a specialist. Am sure that surgery will be discussed, ANY
ADVICE APPRECIATED from anyone? I am a 46 yr. old female that stands doing
hair 50 hrs. pr. week, and am overweight by 30 lbs. how much time off work will I
need? Please respond asap, thanks!




Top of Page
Message 447
Bead (BEAD)
2 of 8
10/25/98 2:33 AM
Reply to:

I don't have first hand experience, but be very careful about
surgury. Get more than one opinon and investigate your doctor
ask to talk to other patients and get their experience. Some
go to podiatrist, some orthopedic but be careful of all



Top of Page
Message 462
From: (DEB56)
3 of 8
10/26/98 11:29 PM
Reply to:

Hi. I had the surgery and had what the dr said was a huge heel spur. My other foot
was always my worst foot, and now I consider the foot I had surgery on to be the
worst one. I had no pain after the surgery and was on crutches for 10 weeks. It was
only suppose to be for 6, but my foot wouldn't stop swelling. I have since been told
that the heel spur is not what hurts, it's the tissue around it that hurts. I couldn't even
walk like a normal person, could only walk real slow and my feet hurt all day. I am
now having acupuncture and can walk a mile a day
! My feet aren't completely
better but I would say are 75% better. I would get several opinions if I were you, and
go to an Orthopedic dr. They have studied longer and in my opinion are more
experienced. Cortizone shots are only a temporary relief and not always safe. Of
course I have had success with the acu and recommend every one try it. I hope this
helps. Deebbie




Top of Page
Message 471
kelus (KELUS)
4 of 8
10/27/98 8:25 PM
Reply to:


Hi! I hate to tell ya this, but my Dr. says that the surgery will take from 2-6 months
recovery time.
And if you don't follow all instructions, and stay off of your feet for a certain amount
of time, then it could take up to 9 months, and then he said that some people NEVER
That is with the old type, larger cut surgery.
The endoscopic surgery is supposed to be a recovery time of about 2 weeks, but it is
documented that it only works on about 50% of the people who do it. Then you have
to turn around and have the "old type" surgery after all.

The thing is that some people never even recover from the surgery. There are many
reasons why...scar tissue is one of them, as I recall.

Of course, this is just what one Dr. said.
This is also why I haven't gotten any surgery yet. I am a single mom of a 2 year old
and there is just no way that I can have surgery on both feet and also chase after a 2
year old, and also be off work long enough to recover and still have a job when I

Hope this helps!



Top of Page
Message 477
Diane R. (DIANE5)
5 of 8
10/28/98 12:06 AM
Reply to:

A good place to check about "heel spur" surgery is the Mayo Clinc Medical book
and they also have published a lengthy Mayo health letter regarding the procedure...
they advise against it as they say the pain is not from the spur but from inflammed
tissue which is causing the spur to form...They mention studies etc. which have been
done as this used to be the treatment of choice before more was known about the
spurs... The spur is the body's reaction/defense to the inflammation -

Also, I know someone who had surgery done to remove just the spurs and got only
worse. I had x-rays and have spurs and both feet and will not have surgery. Birks
have been my salvation and am now pain free most of the time.

Good luck to you - p.s. you should also consider taking glucosamine sulfate three
times a day for 3 mths. I did this and no longer needed any NSAIDs. It really does
help along with good shoes like the birks and good habits - no barefeet etc.



Top of Page
Message 479
EML729 (EML729)
6 of 8
10/28/98 7:38 AM
Reply to:

Hi, I was diagnosed with heel spurs and fas-
citis and after over 1 year had epf surgery
Recovery was uneventfull but long and boring.
I was on crutches and a boot for 6 wks, and
then slowly on my feet after. I did not feel
much improvement for 6 month. The surgery
was not 100% effective, I continue to have
heel pain if I walk to much or fast. I am
much better now, 99% pain free most of the
the time but I attribute this to a change
of lifestyle more than surgery. I now have
a sitting down job instead of on my feet,
that allows me to walk the mall and shop
without pain, I wear birks 80% of the day,
also take glucosomine sulfate 1000 mg a day,
not sure this really help, still stretch 2
times a day. good luck. Eileen



Top of Page
Message 489
Margie in Atlanta (MARZO)
7 of 8
10/28/98 3:40 PM
Reply to:

Dear LouSue,

Please...wait on surgery! I had EPF surgery scheduled for the first of September and
cancelled the day before the blood workup (the week before surgery). I found this
site in August and decided to take the advice of Diane R. about glucosamine sulfate
and Birkenstocks. For the past 60 days I have been taking 1500mg/day and wearing
Arizonas 99.9% of the time. The only time they are off is in the shower and bed. I
even started working last week part-time as a school teaching assistant and spend
most of the time on my feet. While wearing the Birks I can work and then go
shopping, run errands, etc. Sometimes I have a little pain but it seems to go away
easily ;by wearing the Birks. I never thought I would like them but I LOVE them




Top of Page
Message 550
8 of 8
11/2/98 11:48 PM
Reply to:

My sincere thanks to all who replied, I've moved my household since that last posting
and really did myself some harm trying to do too much by myself, so I was slow in
responding. I have also questioned my family members about spurs and have found
out that four great-aunts have had them too. Three said surgery helped and one said
she'd never go to another doctor for advice, so go figure, huh. I know that I must do
something because the move almost did me in. My right hip hurts so much from trying
to carry all the weight that I had to go in for some Propoxy pain pills. But, we all
know that you can't stay doped up forever. My thanks to Kelus, Diane, Eileen,
Marzo, Debbie and Bead for their advice and concern. I will check into the
glucosamine sulfate since that seems to be recommended the most often. I guess I'd
better find the money for some Birks too :) I must now face the inevitable, I can't go
on like this for the rest of my life. As Kelus is the mother of a 2 yr old I am going to
be a grandmother for the first time in Jan 99, so I must be able to keep up with a little
one. I'm sure that I will try surgery and will post my results for all to see. One more
chance for the doctors to practice medicine :)
Thanks to Diane for the Mayo lead.
Thanks to all who post and read this board.
Message # 2316

More Birkenstock Reposts

Posted by Scott on 11/20/98
PMatthews1 (PMATTHEWS1)
1 of 13
10/1/98 8:07 PM
Reply to:
New Thread

Over the past several months, on the old message board, there were several threads
regarding Birkenstock shoes. Given the price I hesitated on buying a pair and also
because they are pretty ugly for business attire.

I decided to give them a try because of all of the positive comments. I bought a pair
of the Arizonas and then their inserts for dress shoes.

I'm absolutely thrilled with the results so far. I've been wearing them (either the
Arizonas or the inserts) religiously for one month. The morning pain has been reduced
substantially (I no longer hobble/shuffle). During the day I no longer have any pain
when I get up and walk after having sat for a bit.

The old message board said that it took a couple of months for the results to show.
Also, it took a couple of days to break them in. My heel felt wonderful immediately
but my arches were pretty sore starting out. During the first week I wore them 2
hours and then increased an hour a day.

I'm particularly thrilled that I can wear "normal looking" shoes with the inserts. They
are pricey (about $45-50) but well worth the cost.

Hope this message gives hope to someone else because I sure needed it awhile back.




Top of Page
Message 107
Bead (BEAD)
PMatthews1 (PMATTHEWS1)
2 of 13
10/1/98 10:00 PM
Reply to:

Just heard on QVC- a woman with plantar fasciitis called in
and talked about the great sucess she has had with
Birkenstocks. It would be a good idea to check with them as
they sell them periodically at much reduced prices. Good Luck



Top of Page
Message 112
3 of 13
10/2/98 1:41 PM
Reply to:

I watched the QVC show and bought my first pair of Birks from them. I am so
excited to get them! And when the woman called about her fasciitis, I yelled to my
husband to come watch, too! I bought a clog-style. I am getting custom orthotics
made to put in most of my shoes, but it would be nice to slip something on when I get
home, and not have to wear closed shoes all of the time. Besides, clogs are kind of
funky and fashiobale these days. I am not quite ready for sensible shoes all of the time





Top of Page
Message 143
beej2 (BEEJ2)
4 of 13
10/5/98 12:34 PM
Reply to:

You know, I am sort of at a loss regarding the Birkenstocks. I have a high arch and
have tried on many models. It seems to me that my foot must be shaped wrong for
them. My toes are squared off and therefore run into the raised end at the toe. If I get
the larger size the arch support doesn't hit right. Also, I have been told by my
podiatrist that shoes with a one inch rise in the heel are best. So I went out and
bought a pair of Mephisto slip on sandals for home wear. They fit perfectly and have
excellent arch support. I can't say they have reduced the pain but they haven't hurt

I stopped my acupuncture treatments last week because I had 11 treatments with no
success other than making the pain more bearable, and I actually feel worse. I went to
my regular m.d. and he prescribed some heavy duty anti-inflammatory for the next 10
days and stretching exercises which I should do for 5 minutes three times a day. He
apparently had pf and found this worked for him. I have been doing the stretching but
apparently not enough! I also got the name of an orthopedist in Berkeley but can't get
in to see him until November! If the anti-inflammatory and stretching don't work I am
going back to the acupuncturist to at least make the pain more bearable... I am so
depressed about this.
As an aside, I don't mind this board--there are pros and cons to both the old message
board and this site. I vote for keeping this site and also thank Scott again for his
caring and support.



Top of Page
Message 145
Barbannj (BARBANNJ)
beej2 (BEEJ2)
5 of 13
10/5/98 6:56 PM
Reply to:

I too had to get a larger size Birk. I also got the one with the narrow foot bed. I
ordinarily wear a medium but this worked. I felt at the store that the arch was in the
wrong place but I was so desperate that I got them anyway. I tried really slowly to
begin wearing them, really slowly. Just in the house or out to the mail box, I used them
like slippers and gradually my symptoms began to subside. Read the message under
Best Shoe for Standing and you will find a detailed message that is very good for
symptom reduction. Not leaning back in the recliner in those Birks will help you feel
better more quickly. Good luck.



Top of Page
Message 150
Margie in Atlanta (MARZO)
Barbannj (BARBANNJ)
6 of 13
10/6/98 10:30 AM
Reply to:

I also love my Birks. I bought Arizonas about 5 weeks ago and "live" in them. I only
take them off to sleep or shower. At first I wore them too long and my feet and legs
got really sore. I thought I would hate them...but now I don't want to wear anything
Even when my feet get a little sore it doesn't bother me to walk in them. I used
to think a little heel was necessary for relief but I think that just masks the pain. I think
the Birks keep the pf stretched which helps healing. I also rarely ice my foot anymore
and stretch very, very little. I think I used to overstretch which only aggravated the
problem. My 17 year old son, who "thinks" he is a hippie has been wearing Arizonas
for 2 years and loves them. He has the highest arch I've ever seen so maybe wearing
Birks will help him avoid getting pf...I hope. After wearing this pair for 2 more
months, I plan to buy some other styles and also the footbed inserts. I almost had
epf surgery in early September. Thank God I didn't. With the Birks, night splint,
Voltaren anti-inflamatory, glucosamine
sulfate, and calcium, I feel so much better than one month ago. I really finally feel that
there is hope to get this damn thing under control. Good luck to the rest of you and
thanks for all the great advice




Top of Page
Message 151
Margie in Atlanta (MARZO)
7 of 13
10/6/98 11:17 AM
Reply to:

MARGIE! So good to see you online. I owe you a message and will get cracking on
it soon. Glad to hear that the combo therapy seems to be working. I am exploring
getting myself a pair of Birkenstock boots - the tacoma or the pasadena. Will let you
know if they feel as good as the arizona. I can tell you for sure that the ontario was
nothing like a birk shoe. Get the birk inserts, though. Great thing is that you can wear
them with most good regular shoes. Warm regards.





Top of Page
Message 152
beej2 (BEEJ2)
Barbannj (BARBANNJ)
8 of 13
10/6/98 12:28 PM
Reply to:

Thanks, Margie and Barbannj:
I have another question. Don't your feet feel unsupported by the birkenstockss (I
assume you mean sandals when you talk about Arizonas--is that right?)? After
wearing closed lace up type shoes for so long (the only kind that orthotics fit in), my
feet feel unsupported in sandals. I am considering not wearing the orthotics anymore
since they certainly have not been a cure and I don't even think they have helped in
any way at all... You do make a convincing argument for giving birkenstocks a serious
try--thanks so much for the input. If I do purchase a pair, how long would I wear
them each day? Would it be like orthotics--an hour the first day, increasing an hour
per day? Or would you suggest something less structured? Thanks, again.



Top of Page
Message 157
Margie in Atlanta (MARZO)
beej2 (BEEJ2)
9 of 13
10/6/98 8:04 PM
Reply to:

Be certain that you go to a good store to buy your Birks. We have a chain of stores in
Atlanta called Abbadabba. The sales people are very knowledgeable because they
only sell shoes like Birks, Mephisto, Dansko, etc. Don't go to a department
store...they won't know how to fit you properly. I would start slowly like you would
with orthotics. You have to learn how to walk in them and they make you walk
slower. All I can say is the first week or so I did not like them. The arch seemed to be
in the wrong place and they did hurt at first. You have to break them in (I don't think
mine are totally broken in yet) patient. Now I don't even notice that I have shoes
on. I got Footmax orthotics in early July. By mid August my feet hurt much more and
I quit wearing them. Good luck!



Top of Page
Message 161
Bead (BEAD)
Margie in Atlanta (MARZO)
10 of 13
10/6/98 9:59 PM
Reply to:

I have used custom orthodics for 10 years & have been pain
free until the past year when I started having this achilles
heel pain which the doctor says are calcium deposits. Anyway
I love to go barefoot in the house which I have been told is
very bad for me. So I purchased some BirkenstocksBetula over
QVC. They arrived today & I have been wearing them around the
house & so far my foot feels better than it has for months.
Hope it keeps u p. My feet adapted to the Birks rite away
Maybe becaused I'm used to the or



Top of Page
Message 374
PMatthews1 (PMATTHEWS1)
Bead (BEAD)
11 of 13
10/21/98 7:09 PM
Reply to:

I've notice a change in achilles heel also. I had a big lump back there that would just
ache. Since going to Birks it is disappearing and I hadn't even realized it didn't hurt
anymore until a few days ago. It's such a relief to finally be getting some results after 3
years of yuck!



Top of Page
Message 418
From: (BECKYB1)
12 of 13
10/23/98 9:26 PM
Reply to:

I am thinking about getting some more birks. I have the Milano's (Arizona's with
back's) and they don't do much for me
'I recently went to a Birk store here in Chattanooga and the girl working there has PF.
I think she is crazy but whatever.
Anyway, was wondering if anyone has heard of the Nebraska's or Kentucky's? It is
in the new Tatami style. They are hand stitched. The Chattanooga store would have
to order them if I wanted them. Like I said the Birkenstock's are so hard, but
between my flip flop's I love ($6) and running shoes, I have to change sometimes. My
running shoes with Orthotics really irritate me. I'd rather have nothing touching my
feet. I think I have mentioned this before. I think different things work for different
people and I know so many of you guys swear by BIrks. In fact many of you are pain
free. Oh how I wish. If this Ossotron that I am trying doens't work, well.... I guess I'll
have to learn to live with PF for the rest of my life. I am hoping the Ossatron works



Top of Page
Message 483
BarbZ (BINGO3)
13 of 13
10/28/98 8:22 AM
Reply to:

Having never worn sandals without the backstrap I tried the ones that do in the store
and found that the Arizona, without the strap, was much better. Also for winter I
purchased the Memphis totally enclosed Birk and find it even better than the Arizona
sandal. Of course it did cost more, $180+ with tax. We have a new store opening
next week in our town that sells Birks and I'm hoping for a Grand Opening special. I
do know that they put their shoes out for sidewalk sales so I also will be checking
those sales when the time comes. Good Luck.
Message # 2318

Acupuncture Repost

Posted by Scott on 11/20/98
From: (DEB56)
1 of 14
10/19/98 11:16 PM
Reply to:
New Thread

I have had 13 acupuncture treatments so far and this is helping me so far. I go every
other day , and after 7 treatments take a break for a week to rest the pressure points.
I am now walking a mile every day at the Drs request. If you can find a qualified
acupuncturist you should try it. It's worth a try and there are no side affects. The Dr.
also cooked some herbs for me to soak my feet in and that also helps. The foot I had
surgery on is now my worst foot. The top of the foot is sore and still is swelling
around the ankle and it's been 5 months. I wish I wouldn't have had the surgery. If
anyone has any suggestions for that problem I would appreciate the feedback.. I have
had pf for a couple of years now and before the acu I couldn't walk across the room
without being in extreme pain. It is a slow process but is working. Try it. Debbie




Top of Page
Message 342
beej2 (BEEJ2)
To: (DEB56)
2 of 14
10/20/98 12:52 PM
Reply to:

Dear Debbie: Glad to hear of your success with acupuncture. I have had success with
acupuncture in the past for soft tissue injuries--sprained ankle and jammed shoulder.
It really helped to reduce the swelling and pain and caused the injury to heal faster. I,
however, did not have much success with it for pf. I had 11 treatments once a week
and did feel that it made the pain more bearable but it didn't seem to help any more
than that for me. I am not sure that trying it every other day would help me any more
but I may try it again at some future time. Do you also find other benefits to
acupuncture? For instance, I believe my general attitude improved from being slightly
depressed about this and other things to becoming slightly more positive in general.
Just wondering. And, once again--congratulations with your success and here's to a
100% cure! Best, Barbara



Top of Page
Message 378
From: (DEB56)
beej2 (BEEJ2)
3 of 14
10/21/98 8:39 PM
Reply to:

Yes, my attitude has changed drasticlly. When i went to talk with the Dr. I was
fighting back tears and was very depressed. I felt this was my last option and it was
my only hope. I had my 14th treatment tonite and right now I have no pain at all
Evey one on this board is looking for answers and I only have one response to this.
This is a cure. Find an experience Dr. It will make all the difference. I think you
should go back and try every other day. When I first started my feet felt better right
after then the next day were sore again by the time it was time for my next treatment. I
am so happy now that I can actually walk at a normal pace.

Gotta go. Debbie



Top of Page
Message 382
beej2 (BEEJ2)
To: (DEB56)
4 of 14
10/22/98 11:30 AM
Reply to:

Thanks, Debbie. I have one more question about your treatment. Is your acupuncurist
attaching electronic impluse patches to your heels (these are hooked up to some sort
of machine) at the same time as doing the needles? Mine was and I don't think that
helped at all--in fact it seemed to have caused more pain directly after the treatment
(even though both acpuncturists I went to swore it would help even more).
Congratulations on your success
! I am very happy for you. Thanks for the advice
too. Best, Barbara



Top of Page
Message 391
From: (DEB56)
beej2 (BEEJ2)
5 of 14
10/22/98 8:37 PM
Reply to:

No , he feels I don't need or won't benefit from the electronic machine, but he
showed it to me and showed me how it would work. I have been suffering from this
for so long that he said it would take awhile before I am completely cured and I need
to be patient. I can't believe that improvement. I hope you go back. How many years
did your Dr study acu? Is he experienced enough? Mine also said surgery is probably
not something to consider for this ailment. He says it is not the bone that hurts, it's the
tissue around it, the faschiia. I already had surgery on one foot and won't do it again
on the other. We are doing acu on both feet. He says it won't come back once it is
gone! I hope he is right. Let me know if you continue your treatments. Debbie




Top of Page
Message 393
To: (DEB56)
6 of 14
10/23/98 12:02 AM
Reply to:

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for being so persistent in your enthusiam over acupuncture. I guess the reason
I wasn't interested at first is because I think on there was a survey and
not too many people experienced success with acupuncture.

I think maybe I will give it a try. AT least it's not invasive and can't hurt you.





Top of Page
Message 405
beej2 (BEEJ2)
To: (DEB56)
7 of 14
10/23/98 11:19 AM
Reply to:

Dear Debbie, Actually both my acupuncturists have a lot of experience--and came
highly recommended by people who have had a lot of experience with acupuncturists.
But I think I agree with your guy about the electronic treatment--except do you think
this sounds like a mini version of the Ossatron treatment? I wish I knew more about
shock wave treatment and why it would have any effect. I am considering going
back--but even your guy said this doesn't work for everybody. But, having said that I
would also advise anybody to give it a try because it certainly can't hurt--except
maybe in your pocket if you don't have insurance... Thanks again for the help Deb.
Best, Barbara



Top of Page
Message 427
From: (DEB56)
beej2 (BEEJ2)
8 of 14
10/24/98 11:13 AM
Reply to:

No, the electronic machine if nothing like a mini version of the Ossatron, it is not
shock waves or anything. It has wires that look like little tiny jumper cables and he
would put these in the needle that is already in, and it makes the needles vibrate real
fast. I get my needles twisted about every 10 minutes during the 45 min to an hour
treatment. Debbie




Top of Page
Message 487
beej2 (BEEJ2)
To: (DEB56)
9 of 14
10/28/98 11:08 AM
Reply to:

Thanks, Debbie. I'm not ready to go back yet because I seem to be getting better
with losing weight! Anyway, I think you guy sounds pretty good. Would he
recommend someone in the Berkeley, California area? Best, Barbara



Top of Page
Message 513
From: (DEB56)
beej2 (BEEJ2)
10 of 14
10/29/98 6:07 PM
Reply to:

Dear Barbara
I don't think my Dr. will know anyone in your area but I will ask him He moved here
from China and has only been here 2 years and is still learning English. I know once
he mentioned a list of acupuncturists on the internet. He said to look on acupuncture
.com. Debbie




Top of Page
Message 514
11 of 14
10/29/98 8:28 PM

deb I was in China for several years. All I did was drink horrid chinese med, soak my
foot in it and receive electric shocks (used to remove bruises) Anyway, no one
offered any Accupuncture. I have heard it just helps ease the pain for a bit but doesn't
Where did your doctor live in China? I am very interested. Is he an orthopedic or a



Top of Page
Message 528
12 of 14
10/30/98 6:16 PM

He is neither. He is an acupuncturist. He studied acupuncture for 7 years and it was
his major. I don't know what part of china he is from. all I know is he is my hero! I
am so happy. I actually wore regular shoes last nite when I went out to dinner. they
have a 2 inch heel. No pain
! Today I had no pain all day. I can even get up in the
morning and walk. I don't even have that sore stiff feeling in the top of my foot that I
had surgery on. I am on a two week break to rest the pressure points and he was
right, my feet did not get worse. I start again next wed. He thinks 7 more treatments
ought to do it. He says it will be a CURE

So many people here are looking for
something to get them out of their pain and they keep talking about ossatron. I don't
understand why they don't try acr. I know some have but what about the rest? It has
been around a lot longer and has no side effects.
It's worth a try. Debbie




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Message 529
13 of 14
10/30/98 6:20 PM
Reply to:

I am on my fourth acupuncturist and the last two were
highly recommended. I have had absolutely no
relief so I'm going to try the Ossatron. And by the way,
I do rest a lot, I am basically sedentary and if I have to
move, I use crutches.




Top of Page
Message 531
beej2 (BEEJ2)
14 of 14
10/30/98 9:03 PM
Reply to:

I agree. Acupuncture is a proven treatment for lots of injuries and conditions and has
absolutely no side affects. Even though I have not had success with it for pf others
have (and I have had success with other problems). One woman I know has had the
epf surgery and is having acupuncture to reduce the scar tissue and help heal--it has
worked wonderfully for her. Her doctor told her the scar tissue would take a year to
go away. With acupuncture it has taken about 3 months! It is worth a try for those
who have tried everything else or who haven't tried anything yet. Good luck! Best,
Message # 2468

Re: I'm a new sufferer of heel pain.....HELP

Posted by eileen on 12/02/98
Sorry to hear that we have new member of the heel pain club, I have been dealing with pf for 3 year and have been through all the convention rx you have read about and had epf 8/97 with only fair sucess. I think as a new sufferer you must find a orthopedic or podiatrist that you trust. Hopefully with resting the feet as much as possible, ice freq to reduce the inflamation. When I was first diagnosed my orthopod sent me to physical therapy, placed me on antiinflamatories which did help a little. I was definitely the start I needed. I now live in birk sandles at home, never never go barefoot. Try to be patient , this is not something that goes away easily. I still do my stretching twice a day and notice that I am tighter if I miss a session. I am now 99.9% pain free on a daily basis , but If I over exert that can change in a second, so you alwas have to be carefull. Good luck

Message # 3083

Re: epf failed; what next?

Posted by Ginger on January 06, 1999 at 14:22:50:
I had EPF in '91 and am still having problems with my feet. Later that year my husband and I divorced and I moved back to Mom and Dad's with my kids. I lost 35 pounds and that seemed to help some. My job was a killer on my feet though because I was a lifeguard at a water park and had to run around barefoot on concrete entirely too much. At this present time, I am in my third cast since July. I have now been diagnosed with Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome in my right foot. My left foot is killing me because of having to over compensate...the pain is the same as the PF.
The only thing that I can recommend is that you try to stay off of your feet as much as possible while you are recovering from the surgery. Even though at this writing it has now been a few months, it will take longer to be healed up completely.
Don't give up:)

Message # 3710

Re: Had PF surgery November 30, 1998

Posted by Marie on 1/21/99
I had surgery done on Jan 13.Also the old way, but with full release and removal of heel spur on right foot. DR. said this way had a little better results than epf. Still sore, I expected that, but front of foot feels unsteady. Still, it hasn't been that long and am trying to think positive. I have gotten some good advice about vitamins and supplements that some say have helped by reading the posts here. If all goes well, I will have left foot done asap. Like someone said before...I just want to get back to normal. In the past year I have put on about 25 lb due to inactivity which is kind of depressing in itself, but also makes the condition worse. I have a stationary bike and have read mixed theories on this. Anyway, the stiches come out tomarrow and will get Dr.s opinion on that.
Message # 3712

Re: Had PF surgery Jan 13

Posted by Marie on 1/21/99

I had surgery done on Jan 13.Also the old way, but with full release and removal of heel spur on
right foot. DR. said this way had a little better results than epf. Still sore, I expected that, but
front of foot feels unsteady. Still, it hasn't been that long and am trying to think positive. I have
gotten some good advice about vitamins and supplements that some say have helped by reading
the posts here. If all goes well, I will have left foot done asap. Like someone said before...I just
want to get back to normal. In the past year I have put on about 25 lb due to inactivity which is
kind of depressing in itself, but also makes the condition worse. I have a stationary bike and have
read mixed theories on this. Anyway, the stiches come out tomarrow and will get Dr.s opinion on
that. 23:07:50
Message # 3741

We are here for you.

Posted by Becky on 1/22/99
Honey, I wish I had good news for you, but I don't. Hundreds of us suffer with this awful thing. I have had Pf for four years. First started as a heel spur then I guess I developed into Plantar Fasciitis. I now live a totally sedentary life. Even my job is an "only sit down" job. I used to be an avid walker, traveled all over the place and enjoyed shopping for hours on end. No more. I have had surgery (epf) and the "up and coming OSSATRON". Some try Accupunture, some do stretches, others have Orthotics or Birks. Everyone is different. For the most part I think the "regular's" have tried about 10 different types of treatments and been to approx 5-10 doctors. Feel free to e-mail me anytime and I will try to give you some hope. Before you do anything, read the message board. It is much more informative than all the doctor's we have been to combined. On the average rest and ice seems to decrease the horrid pain we get. Boring but very helpful
! The less you do and the more you ice the better your feetsies will feel. That is a promise

Unfortunalty, this causes weight gain and depression. Blessings!
Message # 3802

Re: Shoes for Plantar F sufferers

Posted by alex on 1/23/99
I wore SAS shoes for more than ten years BPF (beforepf!) - because they are so comfortable and they come in extra wide sizes. However, my PF developed while wearing them, and I now find that they do not have the support that I need. I, too, have spent $$$ on shoes, but have discovered that Mephistos, Dansko clogs and New Balance sneakers to be the best. Of course, Birk sandals around the house are the most relaxing. e
Message # 4058

Please don't have the epf

Posted by Becky on 1/28/99
I had it Dec 97. I had iced, done PT, worn Orthotics and tried the stretching. It faild. Most likely te EPF is being done by a Podiatrist. They are not MD. They want to make money. Perhaps they can get rid of fungus feet or athletes foot but not plantar fasciitis.
My doc had me up and walking the next day. IT ended up bleeding after the sugery after I had gone home. I had a lot of scar tissue where he made the small insision and scar tissue is not a good thing. YOu will have enough of it with the PFasciitis. Please reconsider and try to go to an Orthopedic Surgeon who shouldn't dare operate on your foot unless it is a last resort. I have had this hoorid thing for four years. Do read the board, it is much more helpful than any doctor you could go to.

Message # 4062

Re: Looking for those who have had Endoscopic Plantar Fasiotomy (I'm new & this is kinda long).

Posted by MiMi on 1/28/99

I share much in common with you and after all of the things you tried didn't work for me I had epf Surgery in October. I have to admit that although I am not 100% curred, I feel at least 80% better than I did and can actually spend a Saturday shopping. This was almost impossible before my surgery. I still have some pain but most of it is in my ankle. My dr. says its because I have arthritis and I've been taking Day Pro for the last two weeks and feel alot better. I am still searching for a comfortable walking shoe. I have Ecco's but I find it difficult to walk fast in them. My New Balance 606's feel the best and I just bought two pairs of Birks which take some getting used to.

Good luck.
Message # 4063

Re: Looking for those who have had Endoscopic Plantar Fasiotomy (I'm new & this is kinda long).

Posted by MiMi on 1/28/99

I share much in common with you and after all of the things you tried didn't work for me I had epf Surgery in October. I have to admit that although I am not 100% curred, I feel at least 80% better than I did and can actually spend a Saturday shopping. This was almost impossible before my surgery. I still have some pain but most of it is in my ankle. My dr. says its because I have arthritis and I've been taking Day Pro for the last two weeks and feel alot better. I am still searching for a comfortable walking shoe. I have Ecco's but I find it difficult to walk fast in them. My New Balance 606's feel the best and I just bought two pairs of Birks which take some getting used to.

Good luck.
Message # 4064

Re: Looking for those who have had Endoscopic Plantar Fasiotomy (I'm new & this is kinda long).

Posted by MiMi on 1/28/99

I share much in common with you and after all of the things you tried didn't work for me I had epf Surgery in October. I have to admit that although I am not 100% curred, I feel at least 80% better than I did and can actually spend a Saturday shopping. This was almost impossible before my surgery. I still have some pain but most of it is in my ankle. My dr. says its because I have arthritis and I've been taking Day Pro for the last two weeks and feel alot better. I am still searching for a comfortable walking shoe. I have Ecco's but I find it difficult to walk fast in them. My New Balance 606's feel the best and I just bought two pairs of Birks which take some getting used to.

Good luck.
Message # 4065

Re: Looking for those who have had Endoscopic Plantar Fasiotomy (I'm new & this is kinda long).

Posted by MiMi on 1/28/99

I share much in common with you and after all of the things you tried didn't work for me I had epf Surgery in October. I have to admit that although I am not 100% curred, I feel at least 80% better than I did and can actually spend a Saturday shopping. This was almost impossible before my surgery. I still have some pain but most of it is in my ankle. My dr. says its because I have arthritis and I've been taking Day Pro for the last two weeks and feel alot better. I am still searching for a comfortable walking shoe. I have Ecco's but I find it difficult to walk fast in them. My New Balance 606's feel the best and I just bought two pairs of Birks which take some getting used to.

Good luck.
Message # 4066

Re: Looking for those who have had Endoscopic Plantar Fasiotomy (I'm new & this is kinda long).

Posted by MiMi on 1/28/99

I share much in common with you and after all of the things you tried didn't work for me I had epf Surgery in October. I have to admit that although I am not 100% curred, I feel at least 80% better than I did and can actually spend a Saturday shopping. This was almost impossible before my surgery. I still have some pain but most of it is in my ankle. My dr. says its because I have arthritis and I've been taking Day Pro for the last two weeks and feel alot better. I am still searching for a comfortable walking shoe. I have Ecco's but I find it difficult to walk fast in them. My New Balance 606's feel the best and I just bought two pairs of Birks which take some getting used to.

Good luck.
Message # 4207

aggravated after surgery

Posted by roger mcghee on 1/30/99
hello,i had an epf on 12/28/99 and have really seen little if maybe even worse heel pain.i am a mail carrier and have exhausted my sick leave because my foot doctor will not say it probaly was work related.judging by my research it seems like this was more than likely the there doctors out there that will go to bat for you in case i need more time or (surgery)? PLEASE RESPOND! THANK YOU
Message # 4379

Re: Recovering from Surgery

Posted by Kathy on 2/02/99
Which surgery did you have, the epf or the older style? I am planning to have the older style in May. Keep us posted on your progress!
Message # 4437

$600 for epf in Montgomery, AL, Dr. Fletcher

Posted by scott on 2/03/99
for the EPF
Message # 4439

Re: $600 for epf in Montgomery, AL, Dr. Fletcher

Posted by BarbJ. on 2/03/99
Wow--that's a lot less expensive than I thought. Do you have any recommendations in Berkeley/San Francisco area? Thanks.
Message # 4463

Re: What type of Dr is best???? Orthopedic or Podiatrist??

Posted by eileen on 2/04/99
I am also in favor of trying another orothopedic doc., maybe one with a specialty in athletic injuries or foot specialty. I tried 7 different anti-inflamatories till I found one that relieved the pain. I finally found Clinoril and taking it twice a day to be the only drug of all the samples I was give to work for me. So dont give up. Its a long slow process of finding the right treatment and medication that will work for you. Everybodys body is different and reacts differently to medications and different treatment. You need to be your own medical advocate, and do whats right for you.
I also feel you should at this point find a job that is not on your feet. The difference in constant pain and occasional can be a change in lifestyle for a while or permanently. My heel pain is 99% gone on a day to day basis since I changed jobs and stopped walking miles a day. I know can walk a mall and do all daily activities pain free. I continue to stretch daily. I am off antiinflamatories at this time. I did go through 2 long years of all the usual treatments without effect, and finally had epf in 8/97 with only mild relief of pain. The most pain relief I have had is changing to a sitting job and stopping a reg exersice routine. I hope to restart slowly in the spring if my feet feel good. time will tell.
good luck--eileen

Message # 4674

just checking in

Posted by barbara2 on 2/09/99
Hi Folks!
I think I've decided to not have surgury, at least for now.
Asked my Dr. some more questions, she was affronted when I asked for the # of epfs she'd done, and wouldn't give me a straight answer whether she would do the surgury or use me as a 'learner' for a Dr. student. (Some HMO, huh?) I think its time for a new Dr.
She did great taping, but won't do it anymore, I think the HMO must have a rule about that, too.
Oooh! I sound a little crabby.
Actually been doing okay lately. My PT recommended a cane. At first I felt really self-conscious, but I'm getting used to it. Found a new shoe store that does terric inserts-
called Foot-so-Port in Beaverton, Oregon which is just outside of Portland.
I'm trying to keep my spirits up. I appreciate humor (even dark humor). If any of you have any to share, I'm a great audience.
Thanks for letting me dump (my hubby appreciates it, too.)
Message # 5120

Re: After Surgery

Posted by eileen on 2/28/99
hi , I had a epf in sept 1997 on my left foot with partial relief, I too was schelduled to have the right foot done but cancelled this, for 2 reasons. #1 the first surgery did not give complete relief and the right foot seemed better with rest since I was off my feet recovering from surgery on the left. I continue to have mild pain in the left heel , definetly not as bad as before surgery. I still cannot walk more than a 1/2 mile on the track without discomfort. But I am able to walk a mall without pain and do all my errands and such 99.9% pain free most days. I continue to take antiinflamatory meds for comfort. I stop them but the pain and tightness returns quickly. I still stretch daily. I think the one thing that keeps me almost pain free is the change in my lifestyle. I changed jobs from one of constant walking and on my feet, to a sitting position and I only walk malls, no 3-5 miles walks for me anymore. It worth the change to be almost pain free. I continue to wear birks in the hours and athletic shoes and orthotic out. I would say the surgery took the edge off the pain but not much more, and if I increased my activity I would have severe pain in a very short period of time. good luck in you quest to be pain free. eileen

Message # 5138

epf post from a Dr.

Posted by scott on 2/28/99
I would like to share parts of an article written in the february, 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. It was co-authored by Paul A. Stone, D.P.M., one the pioneers of this procedure. The title of the article is Retrospective Review of Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy, 1994 Through 1997. In it he compared the results to a similar study from 1992 through 1994. In the new study he used 5 modifications of the EPF originally presented by Barret and Day. Most notably he only releases 50% of the plantar fascia and he uses a short leg walking cast for 4 to 6 weeks post-op. The mean duration of heel pain in the patients in the new study prior to surgery was 51.88 months. This is more evidence that exhaustive conservative theray must be tried before considering surgery. I think this web page eloquently describes appropriate conservative therapy. The second interesting point was mean time for pain to resolve after surgery was108.2 days and mean time to return to normal activities was 94.5 days. This is a clear indication that the EPF is not the "miracle" that it once was thought to be. Originally, Barret and Day advocated return to normal activities in three days. Finally, The patients in the study were asked if they would recommend the procedure to others. 92% answered YES. Would you undergo the procedure again? 84% answered yes. So in conclusion, if you have chronic plantar fascitis try exhaustive conservitive therapy first for even up to 4 years. If you are considering surgery, the endoscopic plantar fasciotomy is the way to go. Use a cast post-op and be patient, the pain will go away.

Message # 5314

Re: Pain in the feet

Posted by Denise on 3/07/99
I too suffer from PF. I am having surgery on my left foot on Monday. I had surgery about 4 years ago on my right foot, that was done the old conventional way, this time I am having the new epf surgery with the pin hole and should be walking on it right away. I tried everything from shots to orthodics even PT, and I suffered too long as well as my family. I will let you know how it works out. Wish me luck

Message # 5315

Re: Having surgery next week (Sorry this is long)

Posted by Denise on 3/07/99
I too am having surgery on Monday, this is my second time. First I had the right foot done the way you are having it done and I have to tell you it was very successful only down fall was I was off my feet for a long period about 6 weeks. This time around I am having the other foot and now I will try the new method epf and the DR tells me that I will be up on the foot with a walking boot right out of surgery, this is also done ambulatory. So I will keep my fingers crossed for both of us. Good Luck. Denise
Message # 5316

Having NEW epf Surgery Next Week

Posted by Denise on 3/07/99
I am having the new EPF Surgery next week on my left foot. Had the old conventional surgery about 4 years ago on my right foot with much success. The only bad thing with the old way was the time I spent in a cast and off my foot with crutches. This new way is suppose to make it so that I will be able to walk right away. Keep your fingers crossed. I have 3 small children and I am missing soooo much not being able to walk that much. Hopefully the pain will be gone and I can do all things I have missed out on because of PF. Wish me luck

Message # 5317

Re: Having NEW epf Surgery Next Week

Posted by Craig II on 3/07/99
What is EPF surgery? I have had PF for about 3 years now and I hardly ever feel any relief. I am very leary of surgery for obvious reasons. Write back and let me know.

Craig II

Message # 5323

Re: Having NEW epf Surgery Next Week

Posted by BillC on 3/07/99

I will pray for you. Let us know how it goes.
Message # 5328

What is epf Surgery?

Posted by MiMi on 3/07/99
I had this type of surgery done in October and feel 95% better. In fact I have been pain free all week and was even able to wear my dress shoes back and forth from work this week.

This type of surgery is done by a podiatrist. He makes an incision in the right side of your heel and comes out on the left side. the incision is suppposed to relieve the presure on the facia which is cut during the surgery. Recovery is at least 4-5 weeks with crutches for 2 week. I would do it again tomorrow if I had to. I tried everything else and nothing else worked for me. If you have it done make sure that your dr. is experienced in this procedure.

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