Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Plantar Fasciitis, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, oh yeah, and Knee Surgery Too!

I've been having heel pain in my right foot for over a month now. I'm not one to complain much with pain, so I've been taking ibuprofen and just hoping it would eventually go away. Not so.

I finally decided to go to the doctor last Friday. I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. What in the world?? Apparently I have somehow injured my plantar fascia.

So the doctor set up a treatment plan involving stretching exercises, ice therapy, an anti-inflammatory drug, and wearing this hideous night splint.

Sleeping in this contraption is not much fun. The first night I woke up what seemed like every hour, it was so uncomfortable! The next morning, as I was telling my husband about it, he laughed when he realized that I had not readjusted those long straps that run along the outer edges. I had them pulled too tight and my foot was pulled too far up! Good grief!

The next night I loosened the straps a little, but still I wasn't taking any chances. I took Tylenol PM before going to bed and I only woke up twice. Now it doesn't hurt my foot to wear it, but it is cumbersome and I have to sleep with my foot out from under the covers.

I have to admit that wearing this splint has helped a great deal. And I'm doing my exercises and taking my medicine. So I hope the recovery time won't be too long. And I hope that I don't have to take the cortisone shot that the doctor mentioned. Ouch!

I was supposed to have a follow-up appointment with the doctor in two weeks to see how much progress I am making, but I ended up having to go back today because I've started having some numbness in my toes. When I called the doctor about it, he told me that numbness was definitely not a symptom of plantar fasciitis, so I had to go back to see him today.

He said it could be a couple of different things, but he thinks it is tarsal tunnel syndrome, and that wearing the night splint is aggravating the nerve. So... he said I won't be wearing the night splint as long as he would have liked. And it really seems to be helping the most :(.

Fortunately, the initial treatment plan for tarsal tunnel syndrome is basically the same as for plantar fasciitis (except for wearing the night splint), so I will continue the same exercises. And starting next week I will begin sleeping in the splint every other night, gradually leaving it off altogether. Then I will have a follow-up appointment with the doctor in one month. If I still have the numbness in my toes, he will do a nerve study to see exactly what's going on.

I'm supposed to be staying off my foot and resting it as much as possible. Ha Ha! When a doctor tells a woman to stay off her foot, he may as well put a cast on the foot if he actually expects that to happen! Seriously, as a busy wife and homeschooling mother, I'm not so sure I'm allowed to stay off my feet :) Especially considering the fact that my husband is having knee surgery next week, and he won't be allowed to walk or put any pressure on that leg at all for one week following the surgery.

So, actually he'll be the one laying around staying off his feet, and I'll be up and about, taking care of him. But that's ok. I'm not complaining about that. It is my privilege to take care of him and pamper him a little. I am so grateful that he works hard to provide for our family, and that he allows me to be a stay-at-home mom! And he really is helping me in the evenings with cooking supper while I prop up in the recliner and try to rest it a little. I'm just glad that I'm not having surgery too (the doctor did say that surgery was a last resort if the other treatment options didn't work). Now that would be something, wouldn't it, if we both had surgery and had to be laid up recovering at the same time! Thank goodness our all wise heavenly Father has not allowed that to be!

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