Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Report: A Reader Has Heel Orthotripsy to Treat Her Heel Pain
This is a "recovery report" from a reader who recently had heel orthotripsy, a relatively new procedure that uses shock waves to zap the heel of the foot. The procedure was developed from another procedure, called "lithotripsy," which uses shock waves to break up kidney stones. The procedure usually costs about $4,000, and sometimes is covered by insurance. (That should be checked, though.)
July 30, 2003
I'm back at work after having my procedure on Friday of last week (July 25). I mis-wrote before when I said I was having the same kind of surgery that I'd read about on your site. I had heel orthotripsy, a relatively new procedure that utilizes the same technology used to dissolve kidney stones without any incisions. Incidentally, it turns out that I was the first person to have this procedure done at the outpatient center as my doctor routinely did the procedure in West Palm Beach prior to this.
Basically, my right heel was bombarded with shock waves to dissolve the spur. I can tell you, this was AMAZING! I was given a light anesthetic (I was still completely under) and then a local in my foot (which I don't remember getting). I was not issued crutches or a cane and was able to walk one day later.
My doctor only prescribed Tylenol 3 for any pain of which there was none. He also told me no heavy housework (YEAH!) and no heavy sports for 4 weeks. It's now been 5 days since my right foot was done and I can't wait to get the other foot done! The difference between the two now is unreal. I have a follow up appointment scheduled for this Friday, and I'll let you know what happens.
There is very slight swelling near the arch of my foot and a few pinpoint bruises. Not sure if that's normal.
Honestly, the worst part was not being able to eat before the procedure. I didn't go into the outpatient center until 12:45 PM Friday, so I couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight Thursday. If the hunger pains outweighed any pain from the procedure, I'm guessing I did OK.
Heel orthortripsy was approved by the FDA last November my doctor wanted to try this before any invasive surgery and, again, I'm quite happy with the results.
There's more to my story and perhaps one day, I'll get it all together. From the inception of my symptoms to now has been a long, winding and oftentimes painful road, but I'm still walking!
NOTE: For more information about treating plantar fasciitis, including recovery reports from my own endoscopic plantar fasciotomy surgery and that of a reader, click here, here, here, here, here, and here. For another reader's report on his orthotripsy procedure, click here.