Topaz Mini Plantar Fasciotomy for Plantar Fasciitis

I’ll step away from infertility stuff for this post. Yesterday I had the Topaz Mini Plantar Fasciotomy surgery on both feet. Here is a video of my doctor performing the surgery on a different patient.

Even though the surgery is unrelated to our infertility, the timing is not. Stims for IVF #3 start 2 weeks from tomorrow on June 7. It occurred to me that I might be pregnant in several weeks and if I didn’t do something to help my feet soon then I wouldn’t be able take care of my pregnant body or my future baby(ies) properly!

Prior to choosing Topaz for my plantar fasciitis, I tried LLLT (low-level laser therapy). Prior to that I had tried several first line treatments including rolling my feet and arches over tennis balls and frozen bottles of water and copious amounts of ibuprofen. Everything provided temporary relief, but going to the grocery store or standing in the kitchen long enough to cook a meal gave me throbbing feet for at least a night or two. Going to trade shows for work or staying at my sister’s house (which has all wood and tile floors, no carpet) were enough to make me cry.

Going in to the pre-op area, several nurses mentioned “how brave” I was to do both feet at the same time. That made me feel a little alarmed. I hadn’t really thought about doing one foot at a time before that moment. Now that I’m on the healing side, I know what they meant!

If you’re considering doing the Topaz Mini Plantar Fasciotomy for plantar fasciitis, here’s what to expect during the first 24-48 hours of recovery:
– expect more pain after you get home because the local numbing agent will wear off
– do NOT get behind on your pain pills before that numbing stuff wears off!! You will regret it!!
– don’t leave the surgery center without a prescription for some anti-nausea meds (if the painkillers don’t give you nausea, the pain itself will)
– don’t expect the painkillers to actually relieve 100% of your pain. They are only expected to manage your pain by taking the edge off
– buy some knee pads to crawl around on to get to the bathroom
– buy a wedge pillow to put your legs on so your feet will be above your heart. This will help reduce inflammation
– buy enough ice packs to rotate. You’ll put them on the backs of your knees and the cooled blood will travel to your feet

I’ll update this post periodically as I hit certain milestones including, hopefully someday soon, a pain free trip to the grocery store!

Periodic updates:
Day 1: had surgery today, came home from surgery center, pain pretty bad, but not unbearable

Day 2: I tried to do 5 mg codeine every 3 hrs. Big mistake. Excruciating pain, like someone was constantly hammering my heels for hours on end. Late afternoon we called the doctor, they suggested taking 10-20 mg hydrocodone every 3 hrs and adding 800 mg of Advil every 6 hrs. By late that night after doing that it felt much better. And they had me loosen the ace bandages around my heels.

Day 3: still have rotating ice packs behind my knees, still have feet elevated, and continuing with the Advil and hydrocodone. Today is much better! Still too painful to walk on my feet, but it doesn’t feel like someone’s hammering them.

Day 4: the hydrocodone makes me so itchy! I decided I’m taking my last dose at 11pm. From then forward it’s nothing but Advil for me. I “walked” to the bathroom today by relying / leaning very heavily on Mr.E, but I made it! I crawled back.

Day 5: I “walked” to and from the bathroom by myself, leaning heavily on walls and furniture. My right foot throbs and aches a little more than the left foot, but nothing I can’t handle. Looking forward to my appt tomorrow when I can get these weird boots off my feet. I assume that having something more cushy will feel better on my feet.

Day 6: I feel like I took a step backward. Maybe it was all the extra walking to get to the doctor, but I had to take another hydrocodone. And the feeling of restlessness is getting to me.

Day 7: I tried ice packs wrapped around my heels today. I think maybe that helped.

Day 8: I decided yesterday morning (Wednesday) that I’m not going to walk on my feet again until Saturday. I wondered if the walking was hindering my progress. Today the swelling didn’t seem to have changed so I decided to try drinking only Gatorade, no water for 24 hours to see it that helps the swelling. I also tried a warm Epsom salts foot bath and an ice bath (5 min x 3 with 10 min break between). I think my heels are a little softer! They were hard as a rock with swelling before. And of course elevation. Keeping my fingers crossed that this works.

Day 14: I’m able to hobble around, still can’t put all my weight on my heels. The pain is pretty much gone unless I’m stepping on my heels. However, because I’m walking so funny I’ve got MAJOR cramping in both legs.

Day 21: I’m able to walk almost normally, but still with pain. I still have cramping, but not as bad as last week.

Day 28: Not much change over the last week. I can put all my weight on my heels but with pain. The cramping is almost completely gone because I’m focusing on walking as normally as possible. I still walk slowly so I don’t jar my heel into the ground when I walk. Not quite ready to take a trip to the grocery store or cook an entire meal.

1 year later: Getting pregnant and gaining a bunch of weight did not help my healing process 😂 but I’m happy to say that one year later I’m feeling pretty much like my normal self minus the pain! I’m so glad I did the surgery because I can’t imagine having had an extra 50+ lbs for my feet to carry without it. 

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