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    Old 12-19-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
    wooconley
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    Intro and LONG post

    Hi. I’ve been mostly lurking for several weeks trying to get a feel for the board and all the overwhelming information here. There are so many different procedures, types of injuries, successful and not-so-successful experiences that I’m having a hard time sorting it all out. And trying to place my experience/situation somewhere in the mix.

    Anyway, I thought I’d brave the waters and introduce myself, try to give a little background and see if anyone can relate. Sorry in advance for a very long first post.

    I’m 59 (as of Jan 2012) and have a mix of things non-foot related such as fibromyalgia, PLMD (periodic limb movement disorder) and the arthritis that goes with my age . I had Lyme Disease in 2003 that wasn’t diagnosed for 8 months and by then had gotten into my central nervous system. “They” think that this was the trigger for the fibro. I’m overweight but have lost 15# (so far) in fearful anticipation of foot surgery.

    Now, my feet. About 2 years ago I started having pain in the back edge of my heels, up the Achilles tendons and under the bottom of my heels. Like many of us, I ignored it and it got worse.

    Making the story shorter, I ended up using a cane (or 2) off and on. The pain comes and goes depending on how much time I spend on my feet. Any more it doesn’t take much time to make it nearly impossible to walk without all the limping, grimacing and complaints I can muster. (Doesn’t help lol) Had gotten to where I couldn’t wear anything but Crocs for the open back and cushioned heel.

    Now to the doctors. I’ve been telling my PCP and my rheumy since last summer that my Achilles tendons, etc. hurt. It wasn’t until this Summer that my PCP asked me if I wanted to see a “foot guy”. Of course I said yes!

    A couple of months later, I see a very nice doc who is supposed to be a combo “Podiatrist” and “Foot and Ankle Surgeon”. He poked around and had me do all the usual and sent me for x-rays. And he gave me a steroid shot in both feet. And he shaved some callous material off the bottom of my foot that was developing where a pointy something was squishing the flesh against the ground.

    Shots did nothing. Went back a week later. He did a lot more poking around, commenting on the big “pump bump” on the backs of both heels. He found extremely painful spots to touch on the bottoms of my heels, especially the right. He also found very painful spot to the touch on the inside bumb of the right ankle. When he pushed that lightly and I flinched he just said “huh-huh”.

    He showed me the x-rays (which he showed me but didn’t explain by pointing at anything). He did say (paraphrased – it’s been long enough I can’t remember the exact wording) that 1: “Those are humongous spurs!” 2: Your feet are much worse than I’d thought and even though your right hurts more the left is much worse on the x-rays. 3: ‘I don’t like doing this kind of surgery because of the recovery time – 8 weeks non-weight-bearing – have to take the tendon off and reattach with pins’ and 4: ‘Come back and see me in Feb and we can talk about if you want to do this surgery we can do it in May so your husband can be home with you for the summer.’

    That’s when I went into high gear researching foot stuff. Had little to go on other than the things I heard while in panic mode in his office. Compared my x-rays to ones on the net. He’s right, the spurs are humongous. I remembered he said something that made me the ones on the back edge were growing through the tendon but don’t know if that sounds right.

    I found this website and after reading a lot realized he didn’t tell me any procedure names, etc. so I don’t know what needs to be done for sure. I talked to my PCP and he’s reassured me that Dr. D is a very good foot surgeon who is not “knife-happy”.

    I went for a second opinion to an orthopedic guy who told me totally different things but I have reason to doubt him. HE looked at the x-rays and said nothing was wrong. He told me that all I have to do is stretching exercises and lose weight. I’d been doing stretching exercises at PT for 27 sessions already. He is young and active and he didn’t have a nurse etc. do my in-take. That was done by an athletic trainer. No one in his waiting room looked to be under 30.

    He also said that if I got better sleep my fibromyalgia would go away. He actually used the words “go away” and his tone implied that it was all in my head.

    So, I have an appoint to go back to Dr. D on Feb 4th. Unless some miracle happens I guess I’ll be having surgery in May.

    I need to wrap my head around this. I need to go in calmly and know what questions to ask. Is it even important to know the names of the procedures?

    Sorry again for the very long post.

    Pam
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    Surgery done June 5 2013
    R partial excision calcaneal,
    Achilles tendon repair,
    FHL fasciotomy,
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    Old 12-19-2012, 05:31 PM   #2
    Titchou
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    Re: Intro and LONG post

    While I prefer an ortho over a podiatrist, the one requirement for either is whether they are foot and ankle board certified. I don't mean they are a Foot and Ankle doctor but rather have they actually gone thru the accredidation process for the F & A society. If not, find one who is.

    Next, if you are in a town where there is a pro football, basketball or dance company or a major college athletic department, find out who they use for feet and go see that person. You'll be glad you researched the person.

    If they don't draw exactly what you have and what they want to do, then find someone else. I've had 3 foot surgeries, am facing 2 more. These are the only two feet you are going to have so the surgeon needs to be top notch.

     
    Old 12-19-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
    wooconley
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    Re: Intro and LONG post

    Unfortunately I live in southeast Ohio. The docs I went to are at least an hour away in different directions. The only bigger cities are 2 to 2 1/2 hours away in different directions. Post op visits would be very hard

    You think I should try to schedule an appt with the pod earlier than Feb 4 to find out more? If I don't get the surgery done in May 2013 I can't until May 2014. With pain levels even 5-6 months seems a long time
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    Pam - Dance in your heart like a leaf in the wind. . . .
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

    Surgery done June 5 2013
    R partial excision calcaneal,
    Achilles tendon repair,
    FHL fasciotomy,
    AMNIOX

     
    Old 12-19-2012, 06:32 PM   #4
    LadyKanner
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    Re: Intro and LONG post

    Hey there Woo! Sorry to hear about the issues you're having. I don't know of any decent surgeons in Southeast Ohio but I know of some in Columbus. Sports Medicine Grant has a great group of surgeons. They work a lot with professional sports teams and college athletics. I would highly recommend my surgeon but I am even farther away from Columbus. If you feel like traveling, his name is Brian Zimmerman. I hope you find someone!
    ~Kimberly
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    April 2012
    Double Arthrodesis
    Achilles Tendon Lengthening
    January 2013
    Subtalar Arthrodesis Revision
    Talonavicular Fusion Hardware Removal

    December 2013
    Screw Removal

     
    Old 12-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
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    Re: Intro and LONG post

    If you can, definitely find a doctor that you are comfortable with. It is absolutely worth the time to research and travel if you need to. Unfortunately, they very often cannot tell exactly how much work will need to be done until they have you under anesthesia.
    Ask around...friends, family...anyone that you can think of for references. This is not something to be taken lightly. You really, really need to find a doc that you trust. Maybe some others on the board will have some input for your part of the country. Good luck.
    Ginger

     
    Old 12-19-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
    Btrfli1
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    Re: Intro and LONG post

    Hi Pam! My preference would be to travel, if needed, to be with a top notch, certified ortho. He should, by all means, explain and draw out in detail, if needed, procedures, so that you completely understand what is expected. He should tell you name of procedure, so that you can research. Of course, all drs will tell you things could be more intense, once they get inside your foot and see anything else. My dr explained in lay terms, told me the name of the procedure, outlined what anticipated recovery would be, what to anticipate, answered all my questions. I also asked about his typical experience of successful outcome. That was important to me,,,I didn't want to go thru surgery, if he didn't have a good success rate. Even if you had to travel for pre op and post op visits, those are not that frequent. I would travel, if possible to have a good surgeon. Don't feel as though you have to settle. As Titchou said, you only have these two feet! Congrats on the weight loss.....jeanne

     
    Old 12-19-2012, 08:51 PM   #7
    teil3156
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    Re: Intro and LONG post

    Hi, "Pump bump" is a common term for Haglund's Deformity. This is basically the pointy part of your heel bone rubbing against the bursa and Achilles Tendon. This is where the pain and inflammation comes from. The pain is horrible. I know from experience. It felt like someone was taking the top and bottom of my heel and ripping it apart.

    I had surgery on Oct 12 for Haglund's Deformity. I have about a 3-4 inch scar down the back of my heel where my doctor opened me up. He removed the Achilles tendon, shaved down the bone (more than he thought he would have to) and reattached the tendon with anchors (I think he called them Juggerknots). He said these tendon anchors used less drilling into the bone so the healing time was less. I don't know what your healing time would be with any other health issues you might have. Also, it would depend on the type of procedures done.

    Anyway, as I said my surgery was Oct 12. I went home the same day with a half cast splint and non-weight bearing. After 2 weeks (once I could bend my ankle to a sufficient degree) I was moved to a CAM walker. About another week later I was given the green light for weight bearing as tolerated. After 2-3 weeks I was told to ween myself off of the CAM walker. I am now almost 10 weeks out and doing physical therapy. I still have swelling and a limp. My doctor is happy with my progress.

    I hope this gives you some kind of information to go on.

     
    Old 03-13-2013, 04:23 PM   #8
    wooconley
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    UPDATE Re: Intro and LONG post

    Well, thanks to all the advice and sharing on this site, I dumped the pod and have gone to Dr Berlet in Columbus. I actually met with his PA this past Monday. Instead of doing what the pod was doing (shots - repeatedly!) he ordered an MRI and put prescribed braces for both ankles. Apparently the tendons on the inner ankle (PTT?) are very weak and the arches are falling. This is what's causing strain and the pain in the plantar fascia and Achilles' tendon. Not the spurs. Stupid pod wanted to do surgery to remove the spurs and calcification in the tendon. Not braces or anything. And the sports ortho I went to for a second opinion made the comment that all I needed was to do stretching exercises.

    The new ortho pod/PA told me not to do any exercises until after the MRI shows if there are any tears.

    Anyway, I wanted to say thanks. I'm soooooo glad I kept looking into this. What I read hear was always niggling in my brain and wouldn't let me be.

    Now I'm anxious to find out what's going on and how it might be "fixed".
    __________________
    Pam - Dance in your heart like a leaf in the wind. . . .
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

    Surgery done June 5 2013
    R partial excision calcaneal,
    Achilles tendon repair,
    FHL fasciotomy,
    AMNIOX

     
    The following 2 users give hugs of support to: wooconley
    Pesher (03-13-2013),Titchou (03-14-2013)
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    achilles tendon, bone spur, heel pain



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