The connective tissue that runs from the bottom of your toes to the heel of your foot is known as the plantar fascia. This tissue serves as a cushion to your foot and absorbs the pressure on your heel when you walk, run, jump, or stand. Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which this connective tissue becomes strained and worn. Ligaments then swell and tighten, causing tension along the bottom of your foot. Your symptoms may include a burning feeling on the bottom of your foot, and you may experience heel pain as well. You are at risk for developing plantar fasciitis if you are overweight, if you are an athlete, or if you spend a great amount of time standing, walking, or running.
Your doctor will want to consider other options before recommending that you undergo surgery to treat plantar fasciitis. Many cases are treated successfully with physical therapy and pain management alone. However, if your foot pain has not subsided after a few months of physical therapy and pain management, your doctor may decide that surgery is your best treatment option.
Plantar fasciitis surgery is an open surgery. An incision will be made into the heel of your foot to expose the plantar fascia. Typically, your surgeon will then make incisions into one of the ligaments in the bottom of the foot in order to relieve pressure and tension. The surgeon may also decide to detach the fascia from the back of the foot altogether. A portion of foot muscle may be removed to prevent nerve damage. Additionally, your surgeon may smooth any rough surfaces on your heel bones. If you have a heel spur, it will most likely be removed.
Most people who undergo plantar fasciitis surgery report that it does make a difference, and they experience less pain as a result of the procedure. As with any surgery, there are possible side effects. Risks included with plantar fasciitis surgery include infections, nerve damage, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.
“Plantar Fasciitis.” The University of Virginia Healthsystem. n.d. Web. 28 June 2012
“Plantar Fascia Release.” University of Wisconsin-Madison. n.d. Web. 28 June 2012
How to get the right help
For patients in Colorado Springs considering or needing more information about treatments for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, feel free to contact Dr. Kerry Berg at Intermountain Foot & Ankle to schedule an in-person consultation: 719-594-9920.