Poor results with second foot surgery on other foot

by Liz
(Rhode island)

I had surgery on my right foot 5 years ago. The Doctor did a fine job. I had a great recovery, then about 18 months ago I started having problems with my left foot.

The pain was different then the right foot. In the case of the right foot the pain was in the arch and this time it was in the heal. The pain felt like a pick was being jammed into my heal upon rising after resting or getting up. This went on for 6 months.

I couldn't take it anymore. The more I walked by midday I was limping with pain. I made an appointment to see the doctor.

The doctor who did the surgery on the right foot no longer worked in the practice so I chose his colleague. He recommended cortisone shots and custom orthotics.

I already had store bought orthotics and wore them all the time. I received shots over the next several months.

The first shot lasted about 4 months then the next 2 about 1 month each. I decided on surgery. The difference between this foot and the right one was I had a heal spur. The surgery was not what I experienced the first time. I was in so much pain.

I don't remember taking pain Meds for more than two days the first time. This time around I was on crutches for two weeks no weight bearing on that left foot at all. The Dr. did a partial release and heal spur resection. I remember my toes feeling ice cold but warm to the touch.
There was a lot of pressure in my foot. Then this burning pain on the bottom of my foot set in.

I was prescribed more pain meds. And cymbalta for neuropathy pain.

It took all of two weeks for the med. to kick in. The stitches came off after two weeks. I was able to walk on both feet. I started physical therapy. This only lasted 3 visits.

I was basically doing stretching which I could do at home. All this time I still had pins and needles in my 5 toes and down the side of my foot. It has been almost four months.

I stopped taking the cymbalta about 1 month ago and that was the worst ever. I was sick to my stomach, headaches, chills, sweats for two weeks. I do not recommend anyone take that medicine.

Here I am almost 4 months later. I started walking and light jogging. I was told I had no restrictions. The Dr. said I can't do any damage to my foot but that it could hurt me.

It does.

The pain I feel today is different than before.

I feel tired and my foot is sore at
the end of each day. I see the doctor in five months. I was told that if the pins and needles are still present there is nothing more he can do and that's what he would tell his wife.

I think I need a second opinion.


Joshua Answers:

Hi Liz.

The skill and quality of the surgeon doing the surgery to remove the bone spur and partial release (of the plantar fascia I presume?) can make a huge difference.

Having said that, there's lots of tiny and not so tiny nerves there in the foot, and cutting one or more of them is both problematic and super easy to 'accidentally' do.

And grinding bone (spur) off the bone is actually significantly traumatic to the body.

Chances are, due to the loss of arch support in the right foot you started using the left foot more and differently.

And, you were already short in necessary nutrition (thus the right foot pain), and the trauma and resulting post-surgery stress and recovery used up even more, so when you went in for surgery on the left your overall system was less able to happily withstand the stress/trauma/injury.

I don't know if a nerve(s) was severed or if it's just the overall inflammation (internal swelling) and connective tissue drawing together mroe and more tightly (scar tissue formation and pre-existing tightness getting tighter) that is compressing nerve, but it sounds like something is/has made some nerves very unhappy.

Plantar Fasciitis Surgery is no joke.

And surgical
Bone Spur> removal is even less of a joke. Meaning, it's serious business/trauma.

1. What are you doing for self care? Before having started running, and now that you've started jogging?

2. Is the level of pins and needles constant whether you run or rest?

I agree that if the pins and needles are still present in 5 months there's nothing more that your doctor can do (because he has no other tools in his toolbox other than more surgery), but that doesn't necessarily mean there's nothing else that can be done to help.

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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