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Plantar Fasciitis Surgery
Earlier this year I kept you all updated on my battle with Plantar Fasciitis and the surgery and recovery process, as I tried to get rid of the incredible pain. You can read more about my journey at these links:
Plantar Fasciitis–Looking for Relief
Recovering from Surgery: Plantar Fasciotomy and Gastrocnemius Recession
Plantar Fasciotomy Surgery–My Experience
Plantar Fasciotomy & Gastroc Recession Recovery, Week 4 Update
It’s been a few months since I posted an update and some of you have asked how my recovery is going so I thought it was time for another recovery update.
My History of Plantar Fasciitis
Let me catch you up. On January 13th I had an open plantar fasciotomy and gastrocnemius recession (Strayer procedure) on my right foot and calf muscle. I chose to have surgery after years of less aggressive treatments failed to provide me with relief from Plantar Fasciitis. Following surgery I was in a hard cast or splint for 4 weeks. Once the cast came off I was in a walking boot for about 8 weeks. I had several stitches in the bottom of my heel which were there for 8 weeks. I had some trouble with my incision not healing fast enough, so my doctor was hesitant to remove the stitches until the incision healed completely because he did not want to risk the chance of the incision splitting open.
I had originally only planned to take 2 weeks off from work. Boy was I wrong! There was NO WAY that I could have went back to work after 2 weeks even though I mainly have a desk job. At 2 weeks post-op I could barely even handle getting up to go to the bathroom and that was with using a walker or crutches. I ended up being off work for almost 9 weeks. Thank goodness for short-term disability insurance!
One of the challenges I have had in this recovery process is learning to walk correctly again. For so long I turned my foot outward in an effort to take the weight off of my inner heel which is where most of the pain was. Now as I’m walking I try to make a conscious effort to walk correctly.
Another step in my recovery process was to get fitted for custom orthotics. These custom insoles were made by a local business that specializes in prosthetics, braces and orthotics. I now wear my orthotics in my tennis shoes. If custom insoles are not in your budget there are many “over the counter” insoles available. My physical therapist recommended the Spenco brand for insoles. I also purchased a good, high quality pair of shoes for work which have great orthotics and support already built into the shoe. The shoes I purchased were Vionics brand which is often recommended for people suffering with foot pain. I do have to say that each person’s pain is different so while Vionics are good for me, someone else may need another brand such as Brooks, Fit Flops or Oofos.
I’m not going to lie. The surgery and recovery process was long and hard. There were some days I felt like having surgery was a big mistake but I kept telling myself that it would be worth it in the long run. Six months post-op, I can now say that I no longer have plantar fasciitis pain in my right foot. I have had several people ask me if I had it to do over again would I do it. My response, “ABSOLUTELY”.
Surgery is not for everyone but for me it was the end of the road and was the only option I had left. I am so thankful that I was able to find a doctor who was willing to do the surgery and give me the relief I had been searching for.
Today, I’m not 100% recovered. My foot and leg still get tired easily and I’m gradually increasing the amount of exercise I do. I am able to take my dogs for walks in the evenings now whereas before surgery I could barely made it from my front door to the street without being in excruciating pain. Some nights I am able to walk around my whole neighborhood and other nights I may not be able to. The key has been to learn to listen to my body. When my foot gets tired that means I need to give it a rest.
My incision on my foot is still very tender. At night I rub a lotion or balm such as Badger Balm on my incision. As I do this I am also massaging the area around my incision which helps to break up the scar tissue. I am also using a spiky ball or a tennis ball to roll my foot over. This also helps to break up the scar tissue, which is often the cause of a lot of pain, especially following surgery.
If you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis pain I recommend exhausting all other treatment options before considering surgery. The surgical recovery process is long and hard but when you’re in constant pain, sometimes that’s the only option that you have.
Are you suffering from Plantar Fasciitis pain? We’d love to hear from you. What treatments have you tried? Did they work for you?
**Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The opinions offered above are based on my own experience. Please consult a doctor before beginning any treatment regime.**