Plantar Surgery, now pain in heel, doctor says I'm exaggerating

by SCP

I have been seeing a podiatrist over the last 2 1/2 years for the extreme pain I have had in my feet.

I have a job that requires me to be on my feet 12-15 hours a day. I had surgery on it about 3 months ago and yes it has relieved the pain in the entire foot, however now all of my pain is in my heel and I have a noticeable limp due to it.

I have been in a cam walker for 6 months and it doesn't seem to be helping. My doctor seems to think that I am over exaggerating which is very frustrating.

I hurt everyday and very discouraged to think that I am going to have to live with this for the rest of my life.

I have been on all types of steroids, low grade pain killers, cortisone shots, anti inflamitories and splints. Overall I am not satisfied with the results of the surgery. I'm not saying I wouldn't recommend it to someone else I'm just saying it hasn't worked for me.

I don't know what my next step is going to be but I know something has to be done.


Joshua Answers:

Thanks for sharing SCP. I appreciate that.

The bad news is, you've been told to try a lot of things that really,
in my experience with a lot of people at least, just don't work.

They all target the symptoms, instead of targeting making your feet strong and healthy and more able to withstand all the hours on them.

And doesn't it suck when what the doctor thinks it's serious, gives you a bunch of treatment, and then when that doesn't work, s/he then shifts to 'it's all in your head' ?!?


I have some suggestions for you, of course.


If so, I'll ask you a bunch of questions to get a more exact picture of your situation, and then give suggestions from there.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Plantar Surgery, now pain in heel, doctor says I'm exaggerating

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Jan 23, 2014
Considering surgery or laser for my Plantar Fasciitis
by: Deanna

I have been battling plantar fasciitis for 5 years. In July the pain crippled me in my right foot. I am a little better with conservative treatment, but not pain free by far. My dr. says that I have super high arches that don't move when I walk causing the fascia to remain really tight and that is why conservative treatments and orthotics haven't worked. He said the only thing that will work for me is instep plantar fascioitomy. I told him I was afraid of being crippled.

He said he has never crippled anyone and has only had one patient where it didn't work. His pain didn't get worse, just not better. My chiro. wants to do laser.

He says he can release the fascia with laser instead. But that sounds like it would just heal the pain for now and that the pain would just come back later and I wold be right back where I am. I am so confused and don't know what to do.

I want to do the surgery if it will work. I have heard it is very successful, but I don't read that on this site. Now I am scared. Any advice?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Deanna.

I'm not a fan of Plantar Fasciitis Surgery.

For instance. Let's say you do have super high arches etc. Which is not a -new- thing. So your surgeon wants to cut and/or sever the pillars holding up that bridge. So suddenly your arches will be able to move. A lot.

That doesn't, to me, sound like a smart thing to do. Sure, maybe it will work. But maybe your bridge will really be wishing it's pillars weren't cut out from under it.

The chiro will use the laser locally where it hurts and that may or may not help the pain. You're right, it won't fix it.

Why won't it fix it? Because Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms show up for a variety of reasons mostly stemming from high up on the lower leg.

That's why surgery 'fails' so often, because it doesn't at all address the actual CAUSES of the pain. And for some reason doctors think that if your foot hurts, it must be a problem with or in the foot.

Sometimes that's the case. Rarely is it the case with Plantar Fasciits, IMHO.

Also, 'very successful' is relative. If you look at the research, even most 'success' is really just 'better'.

Also, fair warning, mostly on this site you just find people complaining about surgeries that didn't work (because people don't complain about successes) so it's a bit biased here. Still, I'm not a fan of cutting into the foot and causing structural damage when that surgeon doesn't even know -why- you're having pain in the first place.

Nov 01, 2010
Do i opt for plantar fasciitis surgery?
by: Anne

I have suffered pf for 7 years now. I've had laser treatment, ultrasound, shots and acupuncture. Unfortunately to no avail! My arches have now fallen also i'm experiencing numb toes whenever i get cold.

Does this have anything to do with plantar fasciitis?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Anne.

Ouch. No fun.

Well, things get tight and stay tight. Sooner or later, that compresses nerves that run through the tissue.

One problem with wearing shoes for a lifetime, is that the toes have nothing to do. So the muscles in the lower leg that attach to the toes, don't fire/work.

Thus, sooner or later, arches collapse.

Your title asked if you should opt for surgery.

I can't say yes or no to that, but I can ask you this question.

If the laser treatment, ultrasound, shots your doctor prescribed didn't work, why is the surgery going to work?

What exactly is a plantar fascia surgery going to do? How will it fix your fallen arches? Or reverse all the tightness and constriction and make the body and nervous system happy again?

Sep 13, 2010
awesome shoe that helped plantar fasciitis problem
by: Aaron

Okay, this sounds crazy considering the surgery you had. I had it as done as well by some cokehead jackoff of a doctor (a fact I was unaware of beforehand) so as you might imagine it's a bit ugly/painful. Buying Nike Free shoes, a kind of shoe that mimics barefoot walking/running, helped me immensely.

I used to run 5 miles a day in high school. At about the age of 21 my arch (what little was left) completely collapsed because I was wearing crappy shoes standing 12 hour shifts, and after that it became hell on earth to walk anywhere. I got the surgery, and it took about a year for it to become not overly painful. It always hurts, but has become less painful over time. I started running a couple of miles a day a few months ago and that was okay, although it made it a little worse.

AND THEN about a month ago I bought these Nike Free shoes, and my condition has improved tremendously, I am absolutely blown away. I can run 8-12 miles with hardly any noticeable pain, work a job standing on my feet for 8 hours, and not have much trouble with it. These shoes are a godsend. I think they help build your arches/calf muscles and that essential is why they worked for me. They might work for you.



Joshua Comments:

Thanks for sharing Aaron.

Overall, I agree.

'Barefoot' walking (I'm not a runner so can't speak first hand about that although the theory still holds) can be HIGHLY therapeutic to a person's feet.

We're designed to be barefoot. Walking inside the platforms of shoes can have significant downsides long term.

I haven't tried the Nike's but I'm a huge fan of the Vibram Five Finger Barefoot shoes. Follow that link for theory and experience.

Jan 20, 2010
Hang in there
by: Kelly

I have surgery scheduled next week and came here to see what to expect.

I just wanted to say that I can empathize with how it feels to be in constant pain and have Dr's who don't "get it".

Sometimes it seems like there are two versions of reality, the one for people who are healthy and the one for folks who have chronic pain.

Everything is harder. Talking, walking, thinking... pain really mucks things up and unless you have some visible injury healthy people tend to think you are exaggerating. (-1 sp?)

I hope that you can find a solution, sending positive thoughts and prayers your way.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Kelly. Thanks for commenting.

I think you spelled it right....looks good to me. (+2)

It sounds like you're in chronic pain. I wonder why......?

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