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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Beth, thank you sharing your information...very helpful to me. You mentioned your four surgeries and I value all of your input. Obviously you have been through a lot and have some good recovery tips. I feel like I have hit the jackpot hearing back from you! Thanks so much!

My dr. will prescribe a knee scooter if I want one. I didn't think it would be necessary though because my home is fairly small with lots of furniture which will make it difficult to maneuver around. Yet everyone keeps telling me how wonderful these scooters are...so, based upon all these suggestions, including yours...I am going to go ahead and get one. I will need a 2nd surgery for the other foot as soon as the first foot heals, so I am sure any of these devices (scooter, wheel chair, crutches), will all be put to good use.

I wish I could do it, but I am not strong enough to use crutches on the steps. I have already tried this and I lack strength in my upper body and legs...plus I have arthritis in my knees. I will have to rely on someone strong to help me up that last step. I also like your idea of taking a bath from the side of the tub. Even though I won't be standing up like normal, I can still take care of my needs while resting my bad foot on a stool or on the side of the tub.

Thanks again for the honest response. It has helped me to realize that I can get through this! 

 
Beth Scott said:

I've had fascia release on both feet over the span of a year. Learning to get around on one foot isn't as tough as it may sound. If you have the resources to do so, I strongly suggest a knee scooter. They're so much easier than crutches. I only used my crutches to get into and out of the car and up and down the stairs. In the first of four surgeries, I went up and down the 15 steps in my house on my knees or bottom. After that, I learned to do it upright using the crutches to go up and the handrail on one side and crutches on the other to hop down the steps. Some other key things I learned are to move all rugs off the floor, use a purse with a cross-body strap or a backpack, and, if you can't get a wheelchair for in the house, try a rolling office chair. Know that EVERYTHING will take longer to do and there's nothing you can do about that. Take your time and be careful as trying to hurry only lead me to be more clumsy. I had a hard cast on for weeks and weeks and didn't take a real shower during that time but figured out how to sit on the edge of the tub and bathe. It's totally doable but you have to be willing to be creative. Relying on others wasn't easy for me either but you have to recognize your limitations and understand that others will help if you just ask. Wishing you all the best.

Your surgeon may have suggested this but be cautious how soon you have the second foot done. Keep in mind that you will have to use one foot to hold all of your weight when you can't walk. If that foot isn't completely healed, you can actually slow down the progress on the first foot. I had the full release on my left foot in Sept. 14 and the full release on my right foot in June 15. It takes a good six months for the foot to be completely healed. Regarding the furniture in your house, move it. If you need to stack things up in the corner, do that. You'll be more comfortable and safer if you can maneuver around freely.

Jean K said:

Beth, thank you sharing your information...very helpful to me. You mentioned your four surgeries and I value all of your input. Obviously you have been through a lot and have some good recovery tips. I feel like I have hit the jackpot hearing back from you! Thanks so much!

My dr. will prescribe a knee scooter if I want one. I didn't think it would be necessary though because my home is fairly small with lots of furniture which will make it difficult to maneuver around. Yet everyone keeps telling me how wonderful these scooters are...so, based upon all these suggestions, including yours...I am going to go ahead and get one. I will need a 2nd surgery for the other foot as soon as the first foot heals, so I am sure any of these devices (scooter, wheel chair, crutches), will all be put to good use.

I wish I could do it, but I am not strong enough to use crutches on the steps. I have already tried this and I lack strength in my upper body and legs...plus I have arthritis in my knees. I will have to rely on someone strong to help me up that last step. I also like your idea of taking a bath from the side of the tub. Even though I won't be standing up like normal, I can still take care of my needs while resting my bad foot on a stool or on the side of the tub.

Thanks again for the honest response. It has helped me to realize that I can get through this! 

 
Beth Scott said:

I've had fascia release on both feet over the span of a year. Learning to get around on one foot isn't as tough as it may sound. If you have the resources to do so, I strongly suggest a knee scooter. They're so much easier than crutches. I only used my crutches to get into and out of the car and up and down the stairs. In the first of four surgeries, I went up and down the 15 steps in my house on my knees or bottom. After that, I learned to do it upright using the crutches to go up and the handrail on one side and crutches on the other to hop down the steps. Some other key things I learned are to move all rugs off the floor, use a purse with a cross-body strap or a backpack, and, if you can't get a wheelchair for in the house, try a rolling office chair. Know that EVERYTHING will take longer to do and there's nothing you can do about that. Take your time and be careful as trying to hurry only lead me to be more clumsy. I had a hard cast on for weeks and weeks and didn't take a real shower during that time but figured out how to sit on the edge of the tub and bathe. It's totally doable but you have to be willing to be creative. Relying on others wasn't easy for me either but you have to recognize your limitations and understand that others will help if you just ask. Wishing you all the best.

Beth, so you waited 9 months between surgeries. That means if my recovery is similar to yours, it would be this Nov/Dec time frame. I hope it can be done this year because I will have met all of my insurance out-of-pocket maximumx and the second surgery will basically be at no cost to me if I have it done this year. Time will tell but I will certainly make sure my foot is totally healed before I even think about the second surgery.

You are so right about safety being the main factor, so I will make sure to move the furniture around to allow me a safe pathway. You are full of good ideas and if you have any other input, please keep sharing. 

One question for you...did you also have bone spurs removed with your surgeries? 

 

Beth Scott said:

Your surgeon may have suggested this but be cautious how soon you have the second foot done. Keep in mind that you will have to use one foot to hold all of your weight when you can't walk. If that foot isn't completely healed, you can actually slow down the progress on the first foot. I had the full release on my left foot in Sept. 14 and the full release on my right foot in June 15. It takes a good six months for the foot to be completely healed. Regarding the furniture in your house, move it. If you need to stack things up in the corner, do that. You'll be more comfortable and safer if you can maneuver around freely.

Jean K said:

Beth, thank you sharing your information...very helpful to me. You mentioned your four surgeries and I value all of your input. Obviously you have been through a lot and have some good recovery tips. I feel like I have hit the jackpot hearing back from you! Thanks so much!

My dr. will prescribe a knee scooter if I want one. I didn't think it would be necessary though because my home is fairly small with lots of furniture which will make it difficult to maneuver around. Yet everyone keeps telling me how wonderful these scooters are...so, based upon all these suggestions, including yours...I am going to go ahead and get one. I will need a 2nd surgery for the other foot as soon as the first foot heals, so I am sure any of these devices (scooter, wheel chair, crutches), will all be put to good use.

I wish I could do it, but I am not strong enough to use crutches on the steps. I have already tried this and I lack strength in my upper body and legs...plus I have arthritis in my knees. I will have to rely on someone strong to help me up that last step. I also like your idea of taking a bath from the side of the tub. Even though I won't be standing up like normal, I can still take care of my needs while resting my bad foot on a stool or on the side of the tub.

Thanks again for the honest response. It has helped me to realize that I can get through this! 

 
Beth Scott said:

I've had fascia release on both feet over the span of a year. Learning to get around on one foot isn't as tough as it may sound. If you have the resources to do so, I strongly suggest a knee scooter. They're so much easier than crutches. I only used my crutches to get into and out of the car and up and down the stairs. In the first of four surgeries, I went up and down the 15 steps in my house on my knees or bottom. After that, I learned to do it upright using the crutches to go up and the handrail on one side and crutches on the other to hop down the steps. Some other key things I learned are to move all rugs off the floor, use a purse with a cross-body strap or a backpack, and, if you can't get a wheelchair for in the house, try a rolling office chair. Know that EVERYTHING will take longer to do and there's nothing you can do about that. Take your time and be careful as trying to hurry only lead me to be more clumsy. I had a hard cast on for weeks and weeks and didn't take a real shower during that time but figured out how to sit on the edge of the tub and bathe. It's totally doable but you have to be willing to be creative. Relying on others wasn't easy for me either but you have to recognize your limitations and understand that others will help if you just ask. Wishing you all the best.

I had surgery on a Thursday, and took my last pain pill on Sunday.  I was not fully non-weight bearing for two weeks.  I was walking, in a boot, assisted by crutches starting the second week, and was walking in a boot by the end of the second week without crutches.  I was in normal shoes (albeit somewhat tenderly) after two weeks.  Two weeks and one day after my surgery I biked twelve miles.  Six months later I hiked the Teton Crest Trail with a full backpack (4 days and three nights..)   Now, five years later....well...I really don't even think about it anymore.  I ran three miles today after work, and have a big weekend planned.

I recently had an MRI on my foot for an unrelated problem recently (mild achilles issues..it resolved, thankfully..)  The radiologist, in his report, commented that the plantar fascia looked "normal."  Studies indicate that two years after surgery you really can't even tell that the plantar fascia was partially released.



Jean K said:

Hi Heather,

I am scheduled for the plantar release end of next month, and I am so nervous about being totally dependent upon other people to help me during the first two weeks of non weight-bearing. Was it extremely difficult to get out of the bed and go to the bathroom, take a shower, etc. Do I need to get a bedside potty? Was it tough to do normal things only using one foot? Also, did you have to take pain meds more than a week or two after the surgery? Was the pain tolerable? Sorry for all the questions, but I really hope someone that has been through this will respond and give me their honest experienced opinion.

Thanks so much and I look forward to your response.

I had of surgery three weeks ago I used knee scooter for two weeks no weight on foot now I'm in a boot at night I walk on foot still sore but with boot I feel great so in a couple of more weeks I should be good as new only took pain meds three times

Hello T.D. Sharkey,

Thank you for sharing your success story. Hearing your story and many others who have responded on this site makes me feel much more hopeful that my surgery and recovery will be a success. I know that I have one of the best surgeons in my area and I am trusting that he will have me do everything I need to do to make a quick recovery.

That is amazing that two years later, your MRI showed no signs of the release surgery. Obviously you had an excellent surgeon that also knew what he or she was doing. Thanks again for sharing such a positive experience. I pray mine will go as smoothly as yours. 

 

T. D. Sharkey said:

I had surgery on a Thursday, and took my last pain pill on Sunday.  I was not fully non-weight bearing for two weeks.  I was walking, in a boot, assisted by crutches starting the second week, and was walking in a boot by the end of the second week without crutches.  I was in normal shoes (albeit somewhat tenderly) after two weeks.  Two weeks and one day after my surgery I biked twelve miles.  Six months later I hiked the Teton Crest Trail with a full backpack (4 days and three nights..)   Now, five years later....well...I really don't even think about it anymore.  I ran three miles today after work, and have a big weekend planned.

I recently had an MRI on my foot for an unrelated problem recently (mild achilles issues..it resolved, thankfully..)  The radiologist, in his report, commented that the plantar fascia looked "normal."  Studies indicate that two years after surgery you really can't even tell that the plantar fascia was partially released.



Jean K said:

Hi Heather,

I am scheduled for the plantar release end of next month, and I am so nervous about being totally dependent upon other people to help me during the first two weeks of non weight-bearing. Was it extremely difficult to get out of the bed and go to the bathroom, take a shower, etc. Do I need to get a bedside potty? Was it tough to do normal things only using one foot? Also, did you have to take pain meds more than a week or two after the surgery? Was the pain tolerable? Sorry for all the questions, but I really hope someone that has been through this will respond and give me their honest experienced opinion.

Thanks so much and I look forward to your response.

Hi Lillian,

Thank you for your story. I am so happy to hear you are having a quick recovery! I am so happy to have found this website, because I had a doom and gloom attitude and ideas about this surgery. Are you saying that you only needed pain meds three times in total or three days? Even if it was three days, that is wonderful! May I ask how intense your pain was? The reason I ask is because I don't handle pain meds well, (extreme nausea and vomiting), and I wonder if the pain could be handled by taking Ibuprofen or something over the counter instead? Again, thank you for sharing your experience. Keep up the good work and be safe during your recovery. 

Lillian hartman said:

I had of surgery three weeks ago I used knee scooter for two weeks no weight on foot now I'm in a boot at night I walk on foot still sore but with boot I feel great so in a couple of more weeks I should be good as new only took pain meds three times


Jean K said:

Hi Lillian,

Thank you for your story. I am so happy to hear you are having a quick recovery! I am so happy to have found this website, because I had a doom and gloom attitude and ideas about this surgery. Are you saying that you only needed pain meds three times in total or three days? Even if it was three days, that is wonderful! May I ask how intense your pain was? The reason I ask is because I don't handle pain meds well, (extreme nausea and vomiting), and I wonder if the pain could be handled by taking Ibuprofen or something over the counter instead? Again, thank you for sharing your experience. Keep up the good work and be safe during your recovery. 

Lillian hartman said:

I had of surgery three weeks ago I used knee scooter for two weeks no weight on foot now I'm in a boot at night I walk on foot still sore but with boot I feel great so in a couple of more weeks I should be good as new only took pain meds three times
Yes jean I believe u can pain is intense but no worse than the pain before surgery mine got so bad that I had to walk on tiptoes I dreaded walking it is feeling so much better yes it was three times not three days I suffered from July to dec

Lillian, what a relief to know that the pain after surgery is really no worse than before the surgery. I know exactly what you mean about walking on tiptoes. One more question please...did you also have bone spurs in your feet and if so, were these removed during your surgery? I have these in each foot and these will be removed at time of surgery. I just wonder if your experience is similar to what I will be going through?

Thanks again for being so responsive and answering my questions. You are such a big help!



Lillian hartman said:

Yes jean I believe u can pain is intense but no worse than the pain before surgery mine got so bad that I had to walk on tiptoes I dreaded walking it is feeling so much better yes it was three times not three days I suffered from July to dec
Hello , just joined this group had the release surgery on Dec 15, 2015 happy to say that I had the surgery have pain but I know it's healing pain and not PF pain. History of PF started in Jan 2015 went through stretching exercises, cortisone shots up to 8, shock wave therapy and physical therapy for 8 weeks and still no relief. Did MRI on a Sunday morning doctor called on Monday and communicated the I needed to have surgery. Surgery date on Dec 15. 2015 and when the doctor came in to mark my foot he noticed something different he thought I had rupture the plantar fasciitis muscle. Doctor findings after surgery was ruptured plantar muscle. Bone spurs, tears in the muscles and calcium buildup . First few days a lot of pain, had to change the pain medication from Percocet to Vicodin because of Nausea. Crutches were hurting too much so glad I requested the scooter. Wait bearing now and walking on my toes when I am upstairs. The incision started bleeding on last Wednesday and went to the doctor on Jan 25 have an infection in my foot so antibiotics were given. X-rays were taken and the foot is healing . Still weight bearing have to return on Feb 22 . Know this will be a long recovery since I had so many issues that were found during the surgery but Im hopeful with the decrease in pain.
Hi.. I just joined this group. I had plantar fasciotomy on Dec 18, 2015.. 7 weeks recovery. Things seem to be healing, but I'm having difficulty getting rid of the swelling in my heel. The Dr cut on the inside of my right heel and since then my bottom of the heel is hard. I've been icing and soaking in warm water, massage and applying Voltaren gel. I am weight baring and on my feet. Morings and after being on my feet the heel and arch is sore. Has anyone experienced the hardness of the heel and how you got rid of it?

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