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Surgery: Worth It?

Welcome back. :)

You're probably wondering by now: "So, surgery...was it worth it?"

My answer to that question is yes - at least for me. Did I see amazing results right away? No. Did I feel better right away? No. My experience was quite the opposite, actually. Things got worse before they got better.

But wait a minute - before you get discouraged, let me explain - and remind you, again, that everyone's experience will be different.

My doctor told me that it would be at least 6-8 few weeks before I noticed any results. Until then, I would feel about the same as I did before surgery, which is exactly what happened. Unexpectedly, though, I went through a brief reduction in pain for a month or two before the pain came right back, as sharp and persistent as it was before the surgery.

So: I felt the same, then felt better...and then went back to square one with my pain level.

(Reminder: my surgery took place the second week of November in 2017. I would say that the little…
Recent posts

Recovery: Weeks/Months After Surgery

Hi everybody. I'm sorry it's been more than two months since my last post. I've been pretty busy between going on vacation, switching jobs, and moving. In this post, I will discuss how my recovery was in the weeks and months following my surgery.

I wore the boot for at least a month after surgery, per my doctor's instructions. About a week or so after the procedure, my doctor removed one stitch from my foot (the only one I'd had.) If you've never gotten stitches removed before, don't worry! :) That was the first time I've ever had a stitch removed, and was pretty grossed out by the thought of it. It's so fast and doesn't hurt at all. It actually tickled for a second.

I developed a pretty big bruise on the underside of my foot that first week, which my doctor said was completely normal and to be expected. Until he told me that, I was nervous that I'd done something wrong, or was putting too much pressure on it, but that wasn't the case.

Recovery: First Few Days After Surgery
Before I was released from the hospital, I was shortly kept for observation to make sure I came out of anesthesia okay and didn't have any other complications. Dr. Shah had wrapped my foot in Ace bandages told me to wear my walking boot until I got home. As I was getting dressed and ready to leave, I didn't feel any pain at all, hardly. In fact, I was able to put pressure on my foot right away, getting in and out of the car and into my apartment.

I was more tired than anything when I returned home, having been awake since 6 AM that morning, and went right to bed to nap. Per Dr. Shah's instructions, I kept my foot elevated with pillows and blankets. I was given Oxycodone for pain, of which I was to take 1 to 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours as needed. I only needed the painkillers the first 3-4 days or so. They worked (wonderfully) at eliminating the pain those first couple days, but were …

Preparation for Surgery
After no pain relief from 9 sessions of physical therapy (and many other non-surgical forms of treatment, including cortisone shots, custom orthotic inserts, night splints, and a walking boot to name just a few), my podiatrist, Dr. Shah, dropped the "S" word - surgery.

(I had an "S" word of my own, containing 4 letters.)

The only surgery I'd had up until this point was a tonsillectomy and a wisdom tooth extraction (all 4 in one day, without anesthesia - a decision I now regret!) I was mixed with emotions at the idea of getting surgery for my PF. I'd heard of other people who'd had success with it, including my aunt, so I thought it could be the one thing that would finally work for me. That was exciting. But every opertation, of course, comes with risks, which made me nervous. I was already in enough pain; the thing I feared most was an unsuccessf…

Walking Boot

My "Franken-boot"
By late September of 2017, my podiatrist, Dr. Shah, decided the next thing for me to try before surgery would be a walking boot. Over the past year or so, I'd tried the following with no success: cortisone shots, custom orthotic inserts, physical therapy, and night splints. PF can be extremely painful, as you know, so to have gone this long without any relief was really starting to wear me down not only physically but mentally. A big part of the reason that I'd left my job as an activities assistant at a nursing home was that it was worsening my PF pain; I was on my feet almost 8 hours a day, walking around and pushing residents in wheelchairs. I was now almost 6 months into a sit-down office job that put no stress on my feet and was still having pain, so Dr. Shah was almost certain surgery would be next if I didn't have success with the walking boot.

Getting a walking boot was far easier than getting custom orthotic inserts. Your doctor will gi…

Physical Therapy
By the beginning of August of 2017, I'd tried treating my PF pain with cortisone shots, custom orthotic inserts, and night splints. As you already know from reading my other posts, none of these things worked for me. Unhappy with the lack of progress, I decided to see a new podiatrist by the name of Dr. Nazia Shah, who was, at the time, working with Riverview Foot and Ankle Associates in Red Bank, New Jersey. From the very beginning, I had a positive experience with Dr. Shah. She was in disbelief that I'd been in pain as long as I had been and hadn't yet been told to try physical therapy (PT), so she gave me a prescription for PT right away.

It was up to me to shop around for a PT facility. I took recommendations via word of mouth, and when I confirmed what would be covered by my health insurance, I wound up making an appointment at SportsCare Physical Therapy in Red Bank, New Jersey. The facility was very clean and the staff was extremely friendl…

Night Splints

If you're like most people, you don't wear anything on your feet when you slip into bed. Your shoes are where you left them, by the door, when you came home. Your slippers stay at your bedside, ready to go to the bathroom at 2 AM when you wake up to pee, or get out of bed to make coffee in the morning. Socks are maybe the only thing you'd wear on your feet in bed, especially in the wintertime. Otherwise, isn't it just nice to feel the sheets on your bare feet after a long day?
Unfortunately, those of us with PF rarely get to enjoy going barefoot, anywhere, anytime. You either wear clunky sneakers stuffed with custom orthotic inserts or a walking boot all day. (I call my walking boot “the Franken-boot.”) It would be nice to just let your sore feet go free at night, but nope – there’s something to be worn at night, too. Night splints.
So what is a night splint?
"Plantar fasciitis night splints are a device fo…