Plantar Fasciitis

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I had PF Release Surgery 4 weeks ago and I am completely pleased with the results.

 

For over a year I dealt with extreme pain from PF in my right foot. The pain would come and go. I tried physical therapy, icing, stretching, soaking in hot Epsom salt, cortisone injections, massage, ice soaking, custom insoles, night splints, wearing a boot and using a tennis ball; nothing would relieve the pain and it was only getting worse. After talking to my Podiatrist about different options available, I decided to go ahead and have the PF Release surgery. I was given a 6-month handicap decal for my car and told that I would need to be out of work for up to 6 weeks.

 

I was put to sleep for the surgery and woke up pain-free. Below is what I experienced from week to week.

 

Week 1- No pain! I was told to take painkillers every 4 hours. I laid in the bed with my foot elevated and iced. When getting up to use the restroom I used crutches and put very little pressure on my foot. I did not get out of bed to do anything except go to a follow up appointment, the restroom and taking a bath.

 

Week 2- Again, I laid in the bed only to get up to use the restroom and take showers, I still used the crutches to keep my full body weight off of my foot. I begun weaning myself off of the painkillers. The pain was starting to come. The pain was moderate, my foot was throbbing and I felt stretching when I got up to use the bathroom or take a shower, the pain was nothing like the same tearing and walking on glass pain that I felt before with PF. I continued to ice and elevate my foot. I did not get the incision wet; I would clean it with peroxide and put antibiotic ointment and a large waterproof band-aid on it.

 

Week 3- I started walking around on my foot with little pressure I would just slowly walk laps around my house. The pain was getting much worse, it would move around in different areas of my foot, some day’s the side of my foot would hurt, others it was below the heel and others it would be the incision area. After walking, I would elevate and ice it again.

 

Week 4- I had a follow-up appointment with my Podiatrist, he said the healing was looking great; he removed my stitches (only had 4).  I’m no longer using crutches. I wear running shoes and have very little pain. My Podiatrist said the pain I’m experiencing now is “Surgical Pain” and will completely go away within a couple weeks. He said I will be 80% healed in 2 to 3 more weeks and 100% healed in 3 to 6 months. I am walking around the house now doing chores, cooking and more. The pain I feel now is pressure, aches and throbbing and is completely tolerable. When I get up after resting I no longer feel that sharp, stabbing pain of walking on broken glass like I had before.

 

I am completely satisfied with the PF Release surgery and my progress. If I had to do it over again I definitely would! After the surgery, my Podiatrist who was also the surgeon told me that I really needed to have the PF Release surgery; he said my Fascia was so tight and had built up so much scaring from constantly being torn, that it would have never healed on it’s own.

 

I feel so sorry for those who have had negative experiences with PF Release Surgery.

My only suggestion for everyone is when the pain does go away; still continue to treat your foot like you are in pain. Don’t run around doing activities like you did before the surgery. You need to give your foot the time it needs to completely heal. Do everything your Dr. says and don’t rush it. Also, make sure you find a qualified Podiatrist who has good success with PF Release Surgery.

 

PS. I have attached photos of my incision at 3 days, 2 weeks and 4 weeks for anyone interested in seeing the progress with the incision.

 

Good Luck everyone!

 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

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Hi Barbie , I still have the swelling in my right heel, My incision was made on the side of my foot also and the bottom of foot and heel is hard . I have been icing , massaging too . It actually started in the middle of the foot after the surgery with a lot of swelling but eventually that went down. So I am hoping that this hardness goes away in time. I just wish my foot would look normal again. If You are employed have you went back to work yet ? I have not returned yet just trying to weight bare in the air cast foot is too swollen to fit in regular shoes right now. Happy Healing to you Barbie
Thank You Kimberly for the response . i sure hope I will be fine in another month. Glad I found this group and knowing I am not alone in this process
Thank you lisa. I have not returned to work as of yet.. My dr said i might be able to return feb 18..my job requires me stand or walk most of the day on concrete, so I'm afraid to return because the walking I do now makes my heel hurt.. My foot looks normal for the most part beside the hard heel.. like you I am also hoping that goes away..Do you wear orthodontics? I have the ones the dr made for my feet, but my foot seems to tire out easly. So I am trying to wear the inserts that come with the shoe ((seems a little more comfortable )

Lisa Greene said:
Hi Barbie , I still have the swelling in my right heel, My incision was made on the side of my foot also and the bottom of foot and heel is hard . I have been icing , massaging too . It actually started in the middle of the foot after the surgery with a lot of swelling but eventually that went down. So I am hoping that this hardness goes away in time. I just wish my foot would look normal again. If You are employed have you went back to work yet ? I have not returned yet just trying to weight bare in the air cast foot is too swollen to fit in regular shoes right now. Happy Healing to you Barbie
Hi Barbie, I am a little worried to about standing and walking on my job too, I usually work about 12-14 hours a day on my feet non stop. I am a general manager with a fast food establishment. No I do not wear orthodontics, I do have inserts that I do wear in my shoes but before surgery I was having to tape my foot just to make it through the work day. So I am feeling a little uneasy about just jumping back in to a full work load. Thinking about considering a career change because I have been in this profession for 25 years now.
I've been at my job as a custodian for a high School for 20yrs so I know what you mean about a career change.. I think I'm going to stay off for another 4 weeks and hope by then I can stand without discomfort. . I wish you the best of luck! And if you find a cure for the hard swollen heel, please let me know. . I wold love to get rid of it.

Hi Jean,

I'm not sure if I ever got back to you after your last message.  To answer your question regarding my job, yes it does allow me to sit all day.  I'm a lawyer, so most days I am chained to my desk.  Luckily, I have not had any court appearances since the surgery, which would have been difficult the first few weeks I was back, as parking is not close and lugging around files would have been miserable.  The biggest challenge for me was getting to my office early enough to get one of the coveted handicap spots by our elevator.  24 spots (8 per floor) get snatched up by 9...9:15.  Other than that, my walks to and from the car and within the office were minimal and people (especially my coworkers) were very helpful.  It's amazing how nice people are to a woman on crutches...even here in shallow Los Angeles.  It was refreshing and restored my faith in humanity.  I started transitioning off of crutches on 1/15 and was completely off of them by 1/19.  stopped using crutches I wore the boot daily through 1/22, so my foot was not in regular shoes...hence no pain from shoes.  I started transitioning out of the boot on 1/22 and was back in normal (but comfortable) shoes by 1/25.  When I transitioned out of the boot, I did experience a spike in foot pain, but it was relived by ice, rest and pain meds if needed.  Since then I've been wearing flat or very low heeled boots.  I have yet to wear dress shoes...especially heels, but that day will probably come this month.  Since being back in normal shoes, I have felt MUCH better.  The boot may protect the foot, but it causes you to walk a little uneven and that's already an issue for me as I have scoliosis.  I had surgery when I was 12 and had the Harrington Rod inserted next to my spine to correct the curvature, but it's not a 100% fix.  Thus, being in the boot (both on and off crutches) results in an uneven stance which causes back pain.  So...after that tangent, the bottom line is I'll gladly take the foot pain to be standing up and walking straight. 

I've also started spinning again.  I have my own spin bike (so I don't have to go to the classes...time is money).  My doctor let me start spinning on 1/23...10 minutes per day.  I increased to 20 minutes per day this weekend and will increase to 30 next week, then back to the normal 40+ minutes. 

I understand you have a multi-level home.  If you're not able limit yourself to one floor (upstairs or downstairs) while you're on crutches, then I recommend having someone stay with you if you can.  I was lucky...my parents flew out here to take me to the surgery and spend the first few days with me, which was really nice, as there's nothing like being babied by mommy and daddy when you don't feel well (even when you're 42 like me).  It was also Christmas right after my surgery so it nice to have my parents, husband and doggy around me when I was hurting.  That said, they left a few days after the surgery and my husband had to be out of the house all day for work on days 6 and 7 after my surgery but I survived.  I rolled around the living room on my husband's desk chair, which helped me navigate from the kitchen counter to the sofa with meals. 

Have you purchased a shower chair and a shower sock so you can shower after the surgery?  I highly recommend getting those items as a nice hot shower does wonders when feeling blah.  People have mentioned sitting on the edge of the tub, but I suggest spending the money for the chair and the sock.  They don't cost very much.  Even if you're in pajamas all day...like I was...you still want to feel like a human.  Just my two cents having gone through this experience twice already.

I wish you luck.  Please let us know how it goes.  I'm definitely feeling pretty normal now...some pain, but not as bad as pre-surgery, so I consider that to be success.  Please feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions.

Thanks,

Heather
 
Jean K said:

Hi Heather,

Thanks so much for sharing your information with me. I believe once I am in my home, I will be okay to get around...slowly. I am a retiree in my early sixties, and I have outside steps leading into my home, which I will have to navigate. My dr. said I will probably need to go up the steps on my bottom. Once I get to the top of the steps, this is where I will need help from someone strong that can lift me up to a standing position on my good foot. This is the one part which I cannot figure out how to do on my own and I have no choice but to ask someone to come and help me in when I arrive home after the surgery.

It sounds as though you are progressing quite well. I can't imagine returning to work only 12 days after the surgery. Hopefully you have a job that allows you to be able to sit most of the day. But isn't it painful wearing shoes and walking back and forth to your car?  

I hope you continue to recover rapidly and get back to 100% soon. Good luck and thanks again! Please stay in touch with your progress.


Heather said:

Hi Jean,
As long as you put your boot on and use your crutches you can get to the bathroom. For showering, I had a shower sock and a shower chair and needed help getting in, but I showered daily. It's a pain being on crutches (carrying food from kitchen to sofa), but I managed. You will, too. I was on pain meds longer, but I went back to work on day 12 so I was sore at he end of the day. By weeks 3 and 4 I didn't need it as much. I just left my 4 week appointment and I'm off crutches and transitioning out of the boot. Good luck to you! Let us all know how you do.
Thanks,
Heather

Hi Heather, 

Thanks for your response! Two more quick questions please:

Did you say that you had two surgeries...one on each foot? If so, how long did you have to wait before the first foot was healed?

My #1 concern is having to deal with pain meds as I have never been able to take anything other than OTC Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Most narcotics that were given to me during previous surgeries made me violently ill with hallucinations and vomiting. I asked another lady from this site if she thought my pain could be managed with an OTC and she said yes. What was your experience? Do you think the pain from this surgery could be alleviated with Tylenol? I have my doubts but thought I would get some other opinions. Oh, also, I have bone spurs in both feet and these will be shaved down during surgery, so not sure if that will create more pain or not. 

I have heard from others, including yourself, that I should expect approx. 1-2 months of varying discomfort, and then it sounds as though each week may be a little better in terms of less pain and ability to walk and exercise. Oh I can't wait to get to that point!

I have had people tell me I really should get a knee scooter, but since my home is fairly small, I know I can do what you suggested, which is to use an office chair or something with rollers. I still have my mother's wheelchair which I plan to use. It has helped me to practice rolling backwards through the house, pushing myself with my one good foot...which will also need surgery after the first one heals completely. That is why I am so curious about the recovery/healing period.

You have given me some great ideas - I will definitely purchase a shower sock and shower chair. I was trying to figure out how to wash my hair before my two-week appt with the dr. Hopefully that won't be too much of a pain. 

Thanks again for sharing so many good ideas. I hope you continue to heal quickly and will soon be 100%. I will let you guys know how things go for me.

Jean



Heather said:

Hi Jean,

I'm not sure if I ever got back to you after your last message.  To answer your question regarding my job, yes it does allow me to sit all day.  I'm a lawyer, so most days I am chained to my desk.  Luckily, I have not had any court appearances since the surgery, which would have been difficult the first few weeks I was back, as parking is not close and lugging around files would have been miserable.  The biggest challenge for me was getting to my office early enough to get one of the coveted handicap spots by our elevator.  24 spots (8 per floor) get snatched up by 9...9:15.  Other than that, my walks to and from the car and within the office were minimal and people (especially my coworkers) were very helpful.  It's amazing how nice people are to a woman on crutches...even here in shallow Los Angeles.  It was refreshing and restored my faith in humanity.  I started transitioning off of crutches on 1/15 and was completely off of them by 1/19.  stopped using crutches I wore the boot daily through 1/22, so my foot was not in regular shoes...hence no pain from shoes.  I started transitioning out of the boot on 1/22 and was back in normal (but comfortable) shoes by 1/25.  When I transitioned out of the boot, I did experience a spike in foot pain, but it was relived by ice, rest and pain meds if needed.  Since then I've been wearing flat or very low heeled boots.  I have yet to wear dress shoes...especially heels, but that day will probably come this month.  Since being back in normal shoes, I have felt MUCH better.  The boot may protect the foot, but it causes you to walk a little uneven and that's already an issue for me as I have scoliosis.  I had surgery when I was 12 and had the Harrington Rod inserted next to my spine to correct the curvature, but it's not a 100% fix.  Thus, being in the boot (both on and off crutches) results in an uneven stance which causes back pain.  So...after that tangent, the bottom line is I'll gladly take the foot pain to be standing up and walking straight. 

I've also started spinning again.  I have my own spin bike (so I don't have to go to the classes...time is money).  My doctor let me start spinning on 1/23...10 minutes per day.  I increased to 20 minutes per day this weekend and will increase to 30 next week, then back to the normal 40+ minutes. 

I understand you have a multi-level home.  If you're not able limit yourself to one floor (upstairs or downstairs) while you're on crutches, then I recommend having someone stay with you if you can.  I was lucky...my parents flew out here to take me to the surgery and spend the first few days with me, which was really nice, as there's nothing like being babied by mommy and daddy when you don't feel well (even when you're 42 like me).  It was also Christmas right after my surgery so it nice to have my parents, husband and doggy around me when I was hurting.  That said, they left a few days after the surgery and my husband had to be out of the house all day for work on days 6 and 7 after my surgery but I survived.  I rolled around the living room on my husband's desk chair, which helped me navigate from the kitchen counter to the sofa with meals. 

Have you purchased a shower chair and a shower sock so you can shower after the surgery?  I highly recommend getting those items as a nice hot shower does wonders when feeling blah.  People have mentioned sitting on the edge of the tub, but I suggest spending the money for the chair and the sock.  They don't cost very much.  Even if you're in pajamas all day...like I was...you still want to feel like a human.  Just my two cents having gone through this experience twice already.

I wish you luck.  Please let us know how it goes.  I'm definitely feeling pretty normal now...some pain, but not as bad as pre-surgery, so I consider that to be success.  Please feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions.

Thanks,

Heather
 
Jean K said:

Hi Heather,

Thanks so much for sharing your information with me. I believe once I am in my home, I will be okay to get around...slowly. I am a retiree in my early sixties, and I have outside steps leading into my home, which I will have to navigate. My dr. said I will probably need to go up the steps on my bottom. Once I get to the top of the steps, this is where I will need help from someone strong that can lift me up to a standing position on my good foot. This is the one part which I cannot figure out how to do on my own and I have no choice but to ask someone to come and help me in when I arrive home after the surgery.

It sounds as though you are progressing quite well. I can't imagine returning to work only 12 days after the surgery. Hopefully you have a job that allows you to be able to sit most of the day. But isn't it painful wearing shoes and walking back and forth to your car?  

I hope you continue to recover rapidly and get back to 100% soon. Good luck and thanks again! Please stay in touch with your progress.


Heather said:

Hi Jean,
As long as you put your boot on and use your crutches you can get to the bathroom. For showering, I had a shower sock and a shower chair and needed help getting in, but I showered daily. It's a pain being on crutches (carrying food from kitchen to sofa), but I managed. You will, too. I was on pain meds longer, but I went back to work on day 12 so I was sore at he end of the day. By weeks 3 and 4 I didn't need it as much. I just left my 4 week appointment and I'm off crutches and transitioning out of the boot. Good luck to you! Let us all know how you do.
Thanks,
Heather

What different types of NSAID's have you all tried and which seemed to work the best for you? I did Naproxen for about 6 months and have now been on Meloxicam for 2 months, neither seems to have helped any.

I have Went through 6 years of pain that would make not only my foot hurt but my knee started hurting, the back of my knee and then my hip. I had all the preliminary things done with shots, cast, Orthodics shots in my hip and knees. I researched and ran across a plastic surgeon that works with tarsal tunnel patients. Went to see her and she did all kind of nerve tests and came to the conclusion that I had not only plantar fasciitis but also tarsal tunnel. I'm 4 weeks out of surgery for both problems that was done by 2 different doctors. I no longer have the original pain, just the pain from the recovery. I would suggest you get checked for tarsal tunnel.

Kim said:
Hi- I've been living with PF for far too long. My first podiatrist was ultra conservative and I believe, let this go on for too long. I have just had my second cortisone shot and can tell it's beginning to wear off. My new doctor is convinced I need surgery on both feet. I am glad to see this positive post.

I am curious to know if any of you have experienced any of these symptoms:

Typically I will have a couple of good days, usually after lots of rest, meds, stretching and ice. When I become active...grocery shopping, housework or standing place for a period of time....my feet start to ache. Initially it is heal pain, then it will move randomly around my feet. As the day progresses my ankles and lower legs hurt. Then my hips, low back and leg muscles ache. Then I start feeling drained from the pain. After a while I just can't be on my feet.

My new podiatrist wanted me to have my spine checked to rule out herniated disks. The back doc brushed it off, but agreed to an MRI. He also referred me to an foot and ankle specialist in his building for a third opinion.

Have any of you had PF this severe? I'd appreciate your comments.

Thanks

I experience foot pain pretty constantly and have struggled to find shoes that would help me alleviate the pain. Well, i have to say that I have found them. They fit well. They have reduced my heel pain as well as my fasciitis symptoms. I can walk much easier and longer now . So happy I got these shoes! orthofeet do the job!

Hi everyone!

Around five years ago I had the severe foot pain described by all, which turned out to be Plantar Faciitis, right foot. I was sent to physio where they prescribed exercise which only intensified the pain (it got that I could not go 50 metres on foot without stopping to recuperate). Then partly for business reasons and to see good friends at a sanatorium outside of Moscow (yes Russia) I went there for a 2 week break.

When my sanatorium friends saw my dilemma they referred me immediately to a third friend with specialist knowledge of the PF condition. She quickly concluded that my 'wound' was a tear in the plantar which could not heal because of scar tissue which was preventing essential nutrients (amino acids) from accessing the root of the torn area. So, she applied 5-7 minutes low intensity laser beam to the wound area designed to breakdown the internal scarring, then 20 minutes magneto therapy to the foot area to reduce inflammation. This, she explained, would reduce pressure on the capillaries allowing improved flow of nutrients in plasma to rebuild the torn area. Then I was instructed on 5 minutes use of an ultra sound probe to intensify the flow of nutrients, thereby accelerating the procedure. This treatment was repeated daily for 12 sessions and my pain gradually disappeared. No invasive surgery, no boots, no crutches, just a kind careful healing process in 2 weeks.

So, for those with the awful pain brought on by PF, there is a solution for forward thinking podiatrists who are able to apply modern sciences to the curing of this debilitating condition.

Glad you found a solution for your pain, even if it involved the longer surgical route.

my patients for over 15 years, and I can attest that they offer the best solution for people with sensitive feet, including those with foot pain, diabetes and arthritis. orthofeet;s shoes are designed with unique ergonomic features that cannot be found in any other brand. My patients love them, and in fact I wear them myself daily, as they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn."

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