Heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis is very common and is successfully treated with non invasive measures such as anti-inflammatory medications, taping, stretching exercises, proper footwear and more. But the usual conventional treatments are not always effective, while the pain seriously interfere with daily activities. If the heel pain is unbearable and if there is no relief with non-surgical treatments, surgery may be an option. Less than 5% of people who suffer from plantar fasciitis need a surgical treatment.
Like every surgical procedure, plantar fasciitis surgery carries some risks. Because of these risks your doctor will probably advise you to continue with the conventional treatments at least 6 months before giving you approval for surgery. Some health experts recommend home treatment as long as 12 months. If you can’t work because of your heel pain, can’t perform your everyday activities or your athletic career is in danger, you may consider a plantar fasciitis surgery earlier. But keep in mind that there is no guarantee that the pain will go away completely after surgery. Surgery is effective in many cases, however, 20 to 25 percent of patients continue to experience heel pain after having a plantar fasciitis surgery.
The most common surgical procedure for plantar fasciitis is plantar fascia release. It involves surgical removal of a part from the plantar fascia ligament which will relieve the inflammation and reduce the tension. Plantar fascia release is either an open surgery or endoscopic surgery (insertion of special surgical instruments through small incisions). While both methods are performed under local anesthesia the open procedure may take more time to recover. Other surgical procedures can be used as well but they are rarely an option. Complications of plantar fasciitis surgery are rare but they are not impossible. All types of plantar fasciitis surgery pose a risk of infection, nerve damage, and anesthesia related complications including systemic toxicity, and persistence or worsening of heel pain.
The recovery time after surgery is between 3 to 6 weeks in which weight-bearing activities are restricted and only then you can start getting back to normal activity. After the surgery a program of physical therapy is recommended, with gradual stretching and strengthening of the foot. Any athletic activity, like running, is forbidden for 3 months after the surgery.
Since plantar fasciitis surgery is not completely risk-free, you should take yourself some time and consider whether it is worth to risk the potential surgery-related complications. If you are struggling with severe heel pain and find no relief with any of the available non-surgical treatments more than 12 months, you probably need a surgical treatment. But if you suffer from heel pain less than 6 months, you should think twice before you decide to do plantar fasciitis surgery.
One last thing we would like to ask - Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Tell us what you think about surgery, treatment, plantar fasciitis and every other thing you want to share. Don't be shy - Say hi!
What is it?
How it feels?
What to do?
Can I run?
Should I ?