Saturday, 13 September 2014

Laser treatment Plantar fibroma patient from USA

Today I have an interview with a plantar fibroma patient from the USA, she has undergone laser therapy and shares her results so far....

1) Do you have Dupuytren’s and /or Plantar fibromatosis?

Just Plantar Fibromatosis

2) How old were you when you first noticed the fibroma?


3) Where are you from and do you consider yourself to have any of the common risk factors?

I was born in Butler, PA., USA of Scotch, Irish, German decent.

I have none of the known risk factors.

4) What treatment options were you initially offered?

I was referred to a foot surgeon who told me that there was very little successful treatment for this condition. He told me that neither he nor his patients were satisfied with the outcome of surgery or cortisone injections. 

He was working in conjunction with the University of Arizona researching the use of laser in the treatment of neuroma and was having some success. He thought that fibromas might also respond to laser treatment and asked if I would be interested in giving it a try. Faced with the other treatment options that seemed to not work, I chose to undergo the laser treatment he suggested.

5) How was the laser treatment?

The treatment was for a fibroma on my right arch which looked remarkably like the photo you posted of yours.  I received 14 laser treatments between July 27, 2013 and February 14, 2014.  Each treatment lasted approximately 14 minutes and only about 2 minutes involved moderate pain.  The first 10 treatments were one week apart.  The final 4 were approx.. 1 month apart.  In mid-October (part way through the laser treatment) we decided to include Verapamil Gel Therapy as part of my treatment plan.

At this point I was part way through the laser treatments and it seemed like it was working.  When Dr. Bocian suggested and explained the addition of verapamil gel, I trusted his opinion that this was a reasonable course of action for me.  

I had developed 3 very small nodules on my left foot, but they were not bothering me in any way so they have not been treated with the laser.

I used the gel 2 times per day on both feet and Dr. Bocian would apply it to my right arch fibroma immediately preceding the laser.  So the Verapamil was used 7 times with the laser on my right foot.  I continued to use the Verapamil gel on both feet 2 times per day for 9 months from October through June.  This concluded my treatment.

Today the nodules on my left foot remain small and asymptomatic, and the laser treated fibroma on my right foot cannot be seen and can barely be felt.  The pain is gone.  Occasionally I experience a very mild discomfort (where the restructured tissue of the fibroma is) with weather changes (we have no idea why this would be) or if I wear shoes with a high or padded arch.  The discomfort disappears when I change shoes or the storm front passes. I currently walking 7,000 – 8,000 steps a day and I attend 3 aerobic fitness classes a week.  All in all, I am very happy with the outcome of my treatment from Dr. Bocian.

As a side note – The laser treatments have not been approved to treat fibroma, so my health insurance covered none of the expenses.  The cost of the Verapamil Gel was $790.00.   I filed a request with my health insurance carrier to cover the Verapamil Gel and was denied.  I filed an appeal, since they did cover the use of Verapamil for other ailments.  There was much sarcastic laughter around our house the day I got the letter from them stating that they were going to reimburse me 22 cents for the sterile water used in the compounding of the gel !