PF or not PF, that is the question....

Posted , 6 users are following.

I've had PF for 16 years now.

Stretching, ice, taping, massage, night-splints, injections, surgery, etc.

Nothing worked. The Surgery made it 10 times worse (judged by how long I could walk before pain stopped me).

Last year I saw another specialist who thought it might be Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome - investigated that but no progress there.

A month ago I saw another foot specialist - he says there is no evidence on the MRI of PF - in fact there is no evidence that I even had the operation. This is not PF he says (after 16yrs trying to cure PF!!!!)

He says I have Extensor hallus Longus & Extensor Digitorum Longus, tendon injury. I't seems to be caused by a flattening of a the arch but not what might be called fallen arches. I'm now seeing a physio who has me on a strengthening program for the next 5 months. There are surgery options but need to go through the 5months with absoulte determination - 10minutes exercises 4 times a day for the next 3 weeks and more after that.

My experience would suggest that the diagnosis is key. I've been on other message boards where some have had the PF for 5+ years and now I wonder is it really PF for those people either. As for me .....time will tell but I would recommend anyone with ongoing feet issues to get a second and a third opinion.

0 likes, 16 replies

Report / Delete

16 Replies

  • Posted

    What's the exercises you've been given Ray? I've got fallen arches too. 
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      It is important I would think that each person would get their own program of exercises relative to their own particular injury. I do not have fallen arches. I have something along the lines of "Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction" leading to flat feet deformation - NOT flat feet!

      I have access to medical journals and have read up on the condition and treatment in "Foot & Ankle International" specifically "Stage I and II Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction Treated by a Structured Nonoperative Management Protocol: An Orthosis and Exercise Program" Richard G. Alvarez, Andrew Marini, Coleen Schmitt and Charles L. Saltzman Foot Ankle Int 2006 27: 2.

      The physio I was sent to by the Consultant gave me the details of this source. You might be able to get it online through google.

      The exercises are very specific and tedoius. My concern is that IF I don't have the diagnosed condition, that it might be doing harm. I reckon it can't get much worse in my case so what the hell.

      I have to sit with my feet off the ground (on a table). I bring the soles of my feet together (turning the feet inwards) and hold for ten seconds, relax for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times. This is ONE set - I have to do 4 sets - takes about 15mins and this I am doing 4 times a day. (Some days I only get 3 sets done but I'm working on it and I've only been on the program for 10 days now). He also want's me to stretch teh muscles concerned - difficult to describe - Have to have both hands on the ground and one foot (say left foot) with heel stuck hard to the ground , the other foot resting just behind my knee.  The left leg has to be straight and then I have to arch my bum upwards - or increase the arch in my lower back. its a killer!.

      Be careful - I'm used to stretching and exercise of all kinds - a new exercise may cause more injury than good and I am going back to the physio on Aug 22nd  - so I'm under medical supervision. THe physio is also in direct contact with the Orthapedic Surgeon so there is a chain of command associated with this treatment. In two weeks he is going to add to what I have to do - all this will continue for 4-5months before any other action will be taken.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Ray, so very sorry to read about your foot problem going on for so many years.  This is the dread that I harbour.  Can you tell me what your symptoms were ie heel hurting after resting, pain getting worse the more you walk etc. I do hope you get the proper treatment soon. Let us know how you get on.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Symptoms.....

      August 17th 1998 whilst warming up for a Rugby match, felt a 'ping' (tear) in both arches. it was teh start of professionalism and we were being paid per match so I kept going. It wasn't particularly sore during the match but afterwards the pain was noticeable. The rest of that season I got the physio to friction them before each training and to tape them. After running/playing I used to stand in a bucket of ice until numb - that eased the pain!

      I really can't remember the type of pain 16 years later but the reason I went for the surgery was the burning pain in the heels and eventually over the soles of the feet. It would get worse the more I walked but if I had been resting for a 4-6week spell (only doing what I had to do) I could get by for an hour. After te operation it would only take 5minutes to get to this mind-numbing burning pain. I've been using crutches on and off for the last 4 years since the op. If i try a short quick walk/run say to cross teh road - I can get a short sharp stabbing pain somewhere between heels and arches but that is not a real problem - it is the aftermath - the non-ending burn, throbbing pain that can really be mind-numbing. when I've set the process going then even the shortest walk - 20feet - can aggrivate it to the point of it not being worth moving. The crutches do help even though I don't really weight bear - it seems to help just to walk at a dead-man's pace and short steps. I've never had the first-step-in-the-morning pain that I read is associated with PF but often my feet will be painful befoer I get out of bed. I've always associated this with inflammation. I did manage to get orthotics made (about 7 different pairs - 6 of which were a waste of money) and they do seem to help a little - as in I wouldn't be able to take 5 steps without them. I'm now taking oxychontin 5mg slow release pain tablets - prescribed by a pain management doctor. These are morphene derivatives - they do allow me to walk for about an hour-and-a-half twice a week - I went down this road to try to get some exercise to prevent other muscle wastage. The curious thing here is that I would have thought I should be in bits after teh hour+ walk but no - sometimes its as if there is nothing wrong at all.

      There are soooo many things that could be the cause for all of us foot-sufferers - I really do urge people to get more than one opinion. I've been to 6 or 7 different specialists doctors and its only the latest who has suggested it is not PF

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Another interesting fact - before I started this current program - I was sent for an ultrasound-guided injection (not into the PF). The specialist there asked me if I had diabetes - I don't. He asked me again and our conversation had already gone down the road of my MSc degree in Medical Physics so he showed me the scan - white where there shouldn't be white. He said the image we were looking at was that of a 70yr old - I'm 47! I have calcification of the arteries in my feet. This suggests a circulatory issue. I'm waiting to get back to the foot specialist to determine my next "step" in this matter as it may be that there will be no 'curing' without adequate blood flow and this may be the cause of the burning sensation i get. I'll keep you all updated.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Wow...I just read your second post about circulation and that sounds like me Ray. I have a left leg that has always been a bit swollen and red due to poor circulation. My MD said it's chronic....no way to really fix it. I'm not diabetic either but I have had weight issues all my life. Then about 3 yrs ago that leg got so much bigger and is swollen from my knee down to my toes...sometimes it flares up with cellulitis and i have to take an antibiotic to kill that but it comes back periodically. Then about 10 months ago I got this PF...so they say...I rolled both feet on frozen ice bottles and it went away in my right foot but has remained in my left foot...which is also the swollen leg. So...you are saying it could be circulation? I need to know more don't I...but it's depressing to know that would be chronic as well. Sometimes I am bedridden with the pain and can't walk at all. It has changed my life totally. I even had to purchase a scooter just to go out in public. God help me. Help us all. Please keep me informed.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      One of the problems I face here in Ireland is that even though we have good specialists, they are so specialised that they seem to know nothing (or don't want to) about areas outside their specific training. Ultrasound guided injections I had (not into the PF but the tendons) have had no effect. however as I wrote before, they showed up calcification of the arteries in the feet. The foot orthapedic specialist doesn't feel this has anything to do with my feet !!!! Maybe so but I now have to get copies of the scans and bring them to my General Doc to find someone who will investigate. The Radiologist who performed the scan feels that my feet look like those of a 70yr old so something is wrong and the burning feeling I have MAY be related to blood pooling. I had high cholesterol above 7.7 but have reduced that to about 5.4 (diet). Without a doubt losing weight is a must - lose it or die! (maybe a bit dramatic but if not literally then in the sense of what life offers). I was always heavy and went to 18stone 7lbs when I was a professional Rugby player but now about 14st 7lbs (mostly muscle loss) - I reckon I could be 13stone. I'm now just trying to cut out any added sugar to see if that has any effect and maybe lose some weight too. I can still do upper body weights so that is crucial to weight loss and I can do some cycling as long as I keep the arch of my foot and not the toes on the pedal.
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    OMG Ray, I am so depressed now... I don't know how you have stood it [excuse the pun!]. I have just got over two new knees & was so looking forward to being pain free - & then this came along. I haven't even felt the benefit of the knee replacements because the awkward walking is affecting the knees & hips. 

    I have a follow up with my orthopaedic surgeon this month I will ask him to refer me to a foot specialist.

    I wish you well - can you share the excercises with us all.

     

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Your posting is very important to me as I have often wondered what I really have. And I have wondered the same for alot of folks on here since I have read the same things you have read...and how their case differs from mine,  so how could it be the same diagnosis?  I am having to go thru the County Hospital System so I know I'm not getting the attention I need.....someone who cares enough to dig a little to see what I really have. I've never had an MI either...so how can they say I have PF? But my hands are tied. Hopefully, your posting will help others. Thanks.....
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      "MI" ..... I assume you refer to an MRI

      So have you had an x-ray?

      There is no way except a physical examination to check for PF that I am aware of other than an MRI as only it will show up the different density of scar tissue compared with the surrounding natural tissue. I suspect an ultrasound scan may indicate some tissue differentiation but I'm not sure it would go deep enough for PF. I am fortunate to have medial cover so have seen a number of "specialists" over the years - even they seem to differ so its a question of finding one that has the experience of many different issues. I was on the verge of going to the States to find someone and have already been to London investigating Tarsal Tunnel syndrome but without the MRI (which showed NO PF damage - even after the operation to partially cut it!). It seems to me there are so many different structures in the foot and lower leg that may cause a problem that your average foot specialist seems poorly trained. For me, even if I didn't have insurance, I would be searching for someone who could diagnose the problem as life is passing by without my partaking in so many different ways.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yes I meant MRI but didn't see the error until after I sent it. And yes...that's my point exactly...they tell me I have it but no one has requested an MRI... XRay is not enough!! As I told you, my coverage is thru the County Hospital which means in the states it's a medical coverage but only for the County facilities which is usually overrun with lower income bc it's funded by the government.  So I am not getting the care I would get if I had private insurance. I had to stop working 3 years ago due to my leg and circulation issues, and so no more insurance thru my job. So I am limited. 
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Have any of you PF sufferers ever managed to get a 'Blue Badge' for parking? I have Arthritis, have two new knees, need two new Hips & now have PF. Walking is a thing if the past & yet I still can't get a disabled sticker !! If I did not work and was claiming benefrit I would automatically get one!! Rediculous....
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      In the States they call it a Handicapped Sticker and yes I have 1. My Dr. wrote a prescription for 1 a couple of years ago bc my knees were so bad. And I was working then too. Here...if your Dr approves it, then you take the permit request to the Health Depot office and they give you 1. So it's basically up to the Dr. 
      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up