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Plantar Fascitis & Heel Spur

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  • Plantar Fascitis & Heel Spur

    I have an old surgical titanium implant in my foot from an old fracture to my first metatarsal. It bothered me but not enough that I wanted to take time off for surgery!

    It got progressively worse and now I have plantar fascitis and a heel spur.

    I got injected yesterday with cortizone and the plan of action is anti-inflammatory meds, insoles, stretching, and surgery to remove the titanium implant.

    He has proposed surgical procedure as a last resort to help the plantar fascitits. Shockwave therapy for $600 is a non intrusive surgical option. He was surprised I knew about SW because of therapy on the horses.

    Has anyone had the invasive surgical procedure for PF? What has worked for you in a diagnosed case to get you back into riding and working out?

    "Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong."

    -Archbishop Fulton Sheen

  • #2
    I can't offer any real advice or insight, but I have a friend with severe PF and all I know is that she says Crocs shoes are her saving grace Before and after her surgeries.
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.


    • #3
      I had ultra sound done, which felt oh so good. Also, i've pretty much resigned myself to wearing clogs all the time. Naots and Ecco sandals have really helped. Danskos did not give enough arch support. For riding Ariats paddock with half chaps, but probably need orthotics to walk much. Good luck.


      • #4
        I don't have any hardware in my foot and don't have a spur, but I do have a propensity for tendonitis. I suffered through PF for almost three years ... careful to stretch and wear supportive footwear. Ariat paddock boots and Danskos were very comfortable/helpful and I had orthotics made for my hiking sneakers. Worst chronic pain ever, and I've had a lot.

        In your case, I'd assume getting rid of the spur would be a priority and since you need to get the metal out, you may as well have the spur surgically shaved while they're in there. Otherwise, I'd say go with shockwave.

        Good luck!
        Patience pays.


        • #5
          YOU are in an interesting spot......

          Obviously the implant has caused enough change in your walking mechanics to create the problem.
          Strictly my opinion based on the little information presented........

          Once you have the plate out, you will need rehab and some time off to let the bone fill in the holes left by the screws. Take that time to see what happens to the PF.
          I'm not saying the spur or the fascia itself is not the primary pain generator, however spurs are often secondary findings. Who knows how long you have had it.
          As for the fascia itself, and with any surgery, there are mixed results.

          How you eventually end up may be more a function of how close to normal your mechanics become.

          If you have access to a college library/medical library, go to pubmed.com and search "plantar fasciitis" or some combination of that with "treatment" or "surgery for".

          Best of luck, not an easy situation.

          Medical Mike
          equestrian medical researcher


          • #6
            Magnetic Insoles!

            This is going to sound nuts but have you tried magnetic insoles!

            I have known several people with (literally) crippling heel spurs that have returned to normal by using magnetics. I have used magnets on tendonitis in wrists and hands and they really do work.

            Non-invasive, won't do any harm**, and relatively inexpensive (~$50 buys decent insoles). **Does titanium hold to magnets? That could be a problem...check with doctor first.

            Results are fairly quick. Give them a try!


            • #7
              Buy the book, Pain-Free by Pete Egoscue and read the chapter on Plantar Fascitis & Heel Spurs. Do the excerises and you will feel relief in less than a week. It worked for me!
              "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach


              • #8
                Do it

                I had the sw done, best $600.00 ever spent. I had a one of the worse cases my doctor has ever seen. Did the sw 3 years ago and still pain free. However, make sure you do the follow up- no anti-inflamatories, etc.


                • #9
                  Along the lines of what Medical Mike said

                  A few years ago I had horrible trouble with PF in my left heel. I am on my feet all day teaching, and at that time I was feeling truly crippled. The first few steps in the morning were unbearable, and the compensation/gimping around was affecting the hip on that side as well. I tried orthotics, wore my Birki's every moment I could, and was seriously considering surgery.

                  Oddly enough, what fixed the PF was shoulder surgery. After I had a rotator cuff tear repaired, I took a couple of months off from teaching and did PT. As a matter of course in the PT, we worked on my overall alignment and did a lot of stretching. After PT, when I wasn't really satisfied with the strength and range of my repaired shoulder, I took up strength training (with my PT's blessing). To summarize, the work on getting straight and strong completely made history of the PF. I have been free of discomfort for about four years, spend as much or more time on my feet as I ever have,(including jogging around the arena in pursuit of beginner horses), and can even enjoy the occasional dabble into fashionable footwear without paying a painful price!


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks everyone for the useful comments. akstaj, did you have the SW therapy treatment? What type of anesthesia did it require?

                    Originally posted by akstaj View Post
                    I had the sw done, best $600.00 ever spent. I had a one of the worse cases my doctor has ever seen. Did the sw 3 years ago and still pain free. However, make sure you do the follow up- no anti-inflamatories, etc.
                    "Right is right if nobody is right, and wrong is wrong if everybody is wrong."

                    -Archbishop Fulton Sheen


                    • #11
                      I had the surgery done before the shock wave therapy was available. My heel spur was so large I even broke a piece of the spur off. Every time I place my heel on the ground it felt like I was stepping on a sharp rock or nail. Very painful and annoying. If you ran your finger along the bottom of my heel, even lightly, you could feel the spur. I had injections...which helped for awhile but eventually wore off and got less and less effective. I have a high arch and found the only shoe I could tolerate wearing were Ariat paddock boots.

                      Finally I said enough is enough and had the surgery. Surgery was outpatient. I was in a "splint" for about a week, and then a walking boot for another week. It's not like you think...or at least mine wasn't. They didn't cut across the bottom my heel, they went in from the side. I wasn't even sore after the surgery, which totally surprised me.

                      I healed up with no problems. But if I'd had the option, I would have at least tried the shock wave treatment first. I've heard it has good results.
                      A poorly fitted saddle hampers both horse and rider.


                      • #12
                        Not really horse related, so closing it despite the interesting information!