Runner Reports Post Endoscpoic Surgery For Plantar Fasciitis Results

by Kimberly
(Rochester, NY, USA)

I have had plantar fasciitis for over 2 years now.

I ignored it for a while and continued to run through it.

I ran a half marathon and a full marathon before I was forced to stop due to a stress fracture in my right hip.

After physical therapy I realized it came from the plantar fasciitis in my left foot (compensating) and decided it was time to take care of that.

During that time it worsened and I believe I tore it, making it feel much worse than ever before.

It felt like my heel was pulling away from itself as though it was in half. It disabled me and started affecting my other foot and back (SI joint).

I was now even more inactive and sitting all the time. Before this and following it I did the following to try to cure the problem: ice, massage, ibuprofen, an air cast, cortisone shots (5 in all), custom orthotics, physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractor, etc... Finally the podiatrist suggested surgery and I felt hopeful this would cure me.

I had surgery a little over a month ago. The surgery itself was a breeze. It was an endoscopic plantar fascia release and all went well. I was placed in a cast for 3.5 weeks following surgery and then moved into an air cast which I wear almost constantly (day and night) with the exception of stretching and showering.

I have been back to PT and his impression is that surgery doesn't usually help people.

I figured by now my foot would begin showing signs of improvement, but it hasn't. In fact, it feels worse than before surgery and I can only stand for about 3 minutes at a time before the pain really begins building.

My big toe is also even stiffer than before and feels like it could snap in 2 when I am stretching. I am frustrated and starting to lose hope. I went from being active to inactive and there is no sign that is about to end in the near future. I had no idea how much this could alter my life and make me feel about 40 years older than I am.

I am afraid the surgery was a failure, but am still hopeful (although barely), that perhaps some of this pain is related to surgery and not PF. I am told by others who have suffered severe cases as well that they did eventually recover, but it seems like a life long sentence to me right now.


Joshua Answers:

Hello Kimberly.

I'm sorry to hear about all of fun.

Thank you for sharing.

So. You've experienced the entire dynamic of Tendonitis. Starts small, things get tight and then get tighter, etc.

That's the Pain Causing Dynamic.

And it's safe to say, though there is some debate, that it starts at the feet and moves up.

So you developed Plantar Fasciitis and you ran competitively.

So with every foot strike, due to a restriction of functional mobility/strength, your body couldn't absorb the load on the feet.

So that load transfers up the chain...knee
to hip etc.

So while I cringe at the thought of it, I'm not surprised that you got a stress fracture in the was taking too much stress/load with every step. (Assuming that happened while running, not from falling down the stairs).

I don't know if it's a life long sentence, but something wasn't working right and that caused pain and problem, and now you STILL have the original problem that continues to cause pain and problem, plus all the side effects of all that long term pain and problem.

So what do you do about that?

There's two levels. One, get out of pain/lower pain to acceptable levels. Two, 'fix' the problem and get back to running.

For the first level, the reality is, you have to work on yourself every day at home. Frequently throughout the day.

For the second level, the reality is, it's going to take some work.

I suggest that you (and highly urge you to) get 'The Plantar Fasciitis Treatment That Works'.

It will give you specifics about what's going on in there, and what to do about it. This includes your lower leg, not just your foot. (Chances are, the source problem is in the lower leg, not the foot.)

If you follow the plan and learn the concepts, and put some time and effort into it , I believe that you can go a LONG way towards lowering your pain levels and helping your body both heal and operate better.

That's the cheap and easy option to start doing some effective self care at home to reduce pain levels.

If you have the motivation and time and $ resources, come see me in Sacramento or Oakland (by San Francisco) for 5ish days. It'll be brutal, but I think you'll be very surprised with the outcome.

Contact me privately if you look at that as an option.


1. How exactly and where exactly did you ice?

2. Did you have an MRI or anything to confirm a rip/tear?

3. Why exactly did the Podiatrist think surgery was a good idea?

4. What exactly did they do during the surgery?

5. When did that tearing feeling occur in relationship to the corticosteroid injections, timing wise?

6. What exactly did you do at Physical Therapy? Help a little, not at all?

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 Runner Reports Post Endoscpoic Surgery For Plantar Fasciitis Results

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Oct 02, 2011
For Kimberly, post surgery runner
by: Robbo

I have read your blog and feel your pain. 3 years of foot pain and life changing experiences for me.....Hang in there. I am 7 months post op from my op for PF, no change in the heels yet.

Toby (Robbo) Robinson


Joshua Comments:

Hi Robbo.

Do you mean that you had surgery 7 months ago, and have had no change for the better -yet-?

Jul 12, 2011
additional questions
by: Anonymous

Hello again. It's been awhile since I last wrote, and I have some new questions. My foot (feet) condition is still the same. In my left foot (the one I had surgery one) it seems worse. My ankle feels stiff and painful and I have specific pain running up the outside of the ankle area in what I would assume is a tendon or ligament- not sure. In addition, the big toe on my left foot is becoming increasingly more painful and has less and less mobility.

My entire body seems to be reacting to this. I have pain, which reminds me of what arthritis would feel like, in most major joints of the body: toes, ankles, feet, back, hips, fingers, sometimes wrists, and shoulders. I guess I should count my lucky stars that I have no problems with my knees, neck or elbows. I am especially sore after sleeping all night, and often have a lot of pain during the night if I lay on my side (shoulders and hips really hurt). I can tell I am very stiff, and always have had problems with stiffness, even when I was most active and fit. I was never aware how stiff I was until physical therapists at 2 different locations told me. It eases up a bit after I get up and move around, but the my feet hurt if I stand for too long. My feet are especially painful if I stand still.

Emotionally I feel at the end of my rope and admit that I have done nothing lately because when I was doing everything I got nowhere. I want to just forget about it but I can't because I can't escape my body. The other problem is that I don't really know WHAT to do since all the typical things have not worked.

I have moved and have a new dr set up. I plan to visit him soon. I will be very upset if I am sent away with all the same info I have heard and tried before unsuccessfully. Should I ask for blood work to be done? Do you have any recommendations? I sometimes feel like I am a lost cause but can't imagine feeling like this the rest of my life so I try to forge on.

Thanks for all your advice and help. Is there hope for even worst case scenario people like me and the ones I read about on here?


Joshua Comments:

Is this Kim?

Of the things I've suggested that you do, please list what exactly you have done, and how much/how long you've done it.

Feb 18, 2011
by: Anonymous

Hi Joshua. I have skipped the massage therapist the last few weeks since we are getting prepared soon to move.Things got hectic but I plan to resume soon. I made a few changes lately.

1. I stopped treating my foot. Not sure if this is a good move or not, but I stopped rolling it with a golfball and heating it.

2. I wear the air cast religiously to bed. I then wear it frequently during the day. If I sit for even a few minutes, I strap it on because my foot only takes a few seconds before the entire things tightens.

3. I actually do NOT wear my inserts. My feet feel so much better without them. I wear crocks around the house and ski boots when outside. My sneakers and inserts (all inserts) hurt me immediately and I got tired of wearing them when they caused pain- even if people told me to do it.

4. I stretch my calves, mostly with my son's karate belt while my leg is on the couch (pull toes toward me with the belt) and the standing calf stretch.

I have found I have longer periods of relief when I do this. I think it mostly comes from the wear of the air cast. I don't know if it will yield any long term results.

I am not icing. Should I be?

The massage therapist was mostly massaging my calves and feet. My feet never hurt to be massaged. But the calves were painful. She would do fairly deep massage along certain muscles in an upward motion followed by downward. She seems good at finding "spots" bc when I am in a good amount of pain (but have not expressed it to her) she works on that spot and seems to know it's a problem spot.

I am used to being on a cycle of optimism and renewed faith that "this" will work, but am usually left in the same old spot. I am currently trying the optimism again and hoping this can work out.

Any new suggestions???


Joshua Comments:

You have longer periods of relief when you stretch your calves.

Do more of that. TOO TIGHT structures are pulling on your foot and creating irritation. Generally, the more you open up the structures of your lower leg, the better.

Specific massage on the calves and between the calves and the ankle.

Yes, keep icing, absolutely. 5 gallon bucket, as high up the lower leg as possible.

Protein. More.

Good fats. More. Omega 3's are anti-inflammatory.

Jan 19, 2011
plantar fasciitis - Runner Reports Post Endoscpoic Surgery For Plantar Fasciitis Results
by: Kimberly

Hi Joshua. Thanks for responding. To answer your questions:

How exactly and where exactly did you ice?

I don't regularly ice. But when I do I roll a frozen water bottle under my foot. I usually heat my feet up with a rice sock, then roll the bottoms out on a golf ball, do self massage, and apply oils my massage therapist gave me to use (peppermint and wintergreen).

2. Did you have an MRI or anything to confirm a rip/tear?

My podiatrist never had me get an MRI so the tear is only my guess since when I was working out I felt what could only be described as a tear. That was the moment my condition went from tolerable to intolerable and has been for a solid year now.

3. Why exactly did the Podiatrist think surgery was a good idea?

He felt it was the last option and felt very optimistic it would work for me. We tried conservative measures for about a year with no success.

4. What exactly did they do during the surgery?

Endoscopic plantar fascia release. Went in on either side under my ankle bone and cut the plantar fascia. The dr reported not seeing anything unusual. I do have a heel spur but he opted to not remove it.

5. When did that tearing feeling occur in relationship to the corticosteroid injections, timing wise?

I felt the tearing feeling a few weeks after a cortisone shot. I am aware (now) that cortisone shots make the tissue weaker.

6. What exactly did you do at Physical Therapy? Help a little, not at all?

It typically made it worse. He didn't realize how bad my feet were and told me to work through the pain with the stretching. It usually put me back in terms of progress

I have been seeing a massage therapist who works on my feet and calves 1-2 times a week. I usually feel worse that day and the next and then have a day of more relief before it wants to return to the previous condition. I also still wear the air cast to bed and do self massage and stretching at home. Massage therapy has been my best option but even she is wondering why I am not getting more long term relief.



Joshua Comments:

Ok, it's been a couple weeks since you left this reply.

How are things now? Same? Different?

And, have you still been getting massage and icing?

Where exactly is the massage therapist working? What is s/he doing, specifically? Details.

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