Plantar fasciitis is most often seen in middle-aged men and women, but can be found in all age groups.
Plantar fasciitis occurs because of irritation to the thick ligamentous connective tissue that runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. When a patient has plantar fasciitis, the connective tissue that forms the arch of the foot becomes inflamed (tendonitis) and degenerative (tendinosis)–these abnormalities cause plantar fasciitis and can make normal activities quite painful. To prevent the recurrence of plantar fasciitis after treatment, proper fitting footwear is essential.
As stated above, simple treatment measures will usually work in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Surgery should be reserved for patients who have made every effort to fully participate in conservative treatments, but continue to have pain from plantar fasciitis. If you fit these criteria, then surgery may be an option in the treatment of your plantar fasciitis. When your surgeon releases the plantar fascia, it is important to only release about 30-50% of the fascia.
As stated earlier in this article, pain around the heel of the foot may not always be due to plantar fasciitis. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis may closely resemble symptoms of other foot problems. New surgical techniques allow surgery to release the plantar fascia to be performed through small incisions using a tiny camera to locate and cut the plantar fascia. Our physicians are trained surgeons skilled in the correction of all foot abnormalities such as bunions, hammertoes, heel pain and neuromas. Located in Sutherland and also proudly servicing Kirrawee, Engadine, Menai and Bangor, Sutherland Podiatry Centre offers care for plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common conditions we treat at our clinic.  It was a problem that was exclusive to overweight middle aged people, but we are now seeing it occur in all age groups. One disturbing fact about plantar fasciitis is that it can sometimes takes many months to resolve.  It often takes approximately 6 months for 75% of people to recover from this problem.
Stretching and Exercise: Stretching exercises are aimed at lengthening the plantar fascia in an attempt to lessen the pull on your heel. Night Splints: A device worn at night to prevent contraction of the plantar fascia and to maintain calf flexibility.


Foot Orthotics: The right custom orthotics are often the best defense in the prevention of plantar fasciitis and the most reliable long-term cure for existing conditions.
Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed with the classic symptoms of pain well localized over the heel area of the bottom of the foot. This treatment, called extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or ESWT, uses energy pulses to induce microtrauma to the tissue of the plantar fascia. It is important that conservative treatments (such as those listed above) be performed for AT LEAST a year before considering surgery.
The vast majority of patients diagnosed with plantar fasciitis will recover given ample time. What I mean by this, is surgeons can reliably predict that patients with severe knee arthritis will do well after knee replacement surgery about 95% of the time. Release of more of the plantar fascia during surgery may cause a flat foot deformity due to the loss of the arch of the foot. These nerves, even with protection, may be damaged during surgery to release of the plantar fascia. If a patient sustains an infection following surgery, they will require antibiotics and may require further surgery to remove any infection. The plantar fascia is a very thick fibrous material that inserts into your heel, and branches out to your five toes.  It is responsible for helping hold up your arch, and absorbing shock when you hit the ground when you walk. When your arch drops, the plantar fascia begins to tear away from its insertion at your heel.
A restored arch significantly reduces the daily pull on the plantar fascia by relaxing the ‘bowstring” function of the fascia.
About 70% of patients with plantar fasciitis have been noted to have a heel spur that can be seen on X-Ray. Often the pain from plantar fasciitis is most severe when you first stand on your feet in the morning.
These syndromes such as Reiter’s syndrome and ankylosing spondylitis can cause heel pain similar to plantar fasciitis. Time is very important in curing the pain of plantar fasciitis, and insufficient treatment before surgery may subject you to potential complications of the procedure.


With some basic treatment steps, well over 90% of patients will achieve full recovery from symptoms of plantar fasciitis within one year of the onset of treatment. Flat foot after surgery can lead to chronic problems that may be as bad as the plantar fasciitis. Because of this, a small percentage of patients may have pain or numbness in areas of the foot following plantar fasciitis surgery. While there are potential complications, about 70-80% of patients will find relief after plantar fascia release surgery. Some surgeons are concerned that the endoscopic plantar fascia release procedure increases the risk of damage to the small nerves of the foot. Tightness in this muscle group can cause excess pronation (arch drop), which may contribute to plantar fasciitis.
If your symptoms are not typical for plantar fasciitis, or if your symptoms do not resolve with treatment, your doctor will consider these possible diagnoses.
If these treatments fail, your doctor may consider an operation to loosen the plantar fascia, called a plantar fascia release.Because the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis can be confused with tarsal tunnel syndrome (as described earlier), most surgeons advocate performing a tarsal tunnel release (or at least a partial tarsal tunnel release) along with the plantar fascia release.
This may not be perfect, but if plantar fasciitis has been slowing you down for a year or more, it may well be worth these potential risks of surgery. While there is no definitive answer that this endoscopic plantar fascia release is better or worse than a traditional plantar fascia release, most surgeons still prefer the traditional approach. These simple exercises will help maintain the flexibility of the foot and prevent the plantar fasciitis pain from returning.
This surgery is about 80% successful in relieving pain in the small group of patients who do not improve with conservative treatments.



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