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Plantar fasciitis surgery

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, affecting millions of people every year. At Arizona Foot, located at 7304 E Deer Valley Road Ste #100 in Scottsdale, AZ, our experienced podiatrist Dr. Kris DiNucci, DPM FACFAS, specializes in providing relief for this painful condition through advanced plantar fasciitis surgery techniques when non-surgical treatments are ineffective. 

Symptoms

The primary symptom of plantar fasciitis is severe pain in the heel and bottom of the foot, especially with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning or after periods of rest. The pain from plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes.

Causes & Risk Factors  

Plantar fasciitis develops when the plantar fascia becomes strained and inflamed due to overuse or repetitive impact and stretching. Risk factors that can contribute to plantar fasciitis include:

Plantar Fasciitis Surgery

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having very high or low arches
  • Wearing shoes without proper arch support
  • Participating in high-impact activities like running
  • Being on your feet for long periods  

Diagnosis

Dr. DiNucci will examine your foot, evaluate symptoms and may order imaging tests like X-rays or ultrasounds to exclude other causes of heel pain for diagnosing plantar fasciitis. He uses up-to-date diagnostic methods to identify the origin and extent of plantar fascia injury.

Treatment 

At Arizona Foot, we always start with conservative, non-surgical plantar fasciitis treatment near me whenever possible. This can include:

  • Resting and avoiding activities that aggravate the condition
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication
  • Wearing a plantar fasciitis relief sleeve or night splint
  • Receiving steroid injections 
  • Undergoing physical therapy

When these non-operative treatments fail to provide lasting plantar fasciitis relief, Dr. DiNucci may recommend plantar fasciitis surgery to repair the damaged fascia and eliminate the chronic pain.

Recovery

The recovery process after plantar fasciitis surgery depends on the specific type of procedure performed:

Open Surgery: 

This traditional surgical approach involves making an incision in the heel area to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. Open surgery requires a longer recovery of several weeks on crutches before weight can be placed on the foot again.

Endoscopic Surgery: 

This minimally invasive technique uses small instruments and a camera inserted through tiny incisions to release the plantar fascia. Endoscopic plantar fasciitis surgery allows for a faster recovery, usually within a few weeks, though swelling may persist for several months.

Prevention

While not all cases are preventable, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing plantar fasciitis:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Choose shoes with good arch support and cushioning
  • Stretch your calves, Achilles tendons, and plantar fascia regularly  
  • Avoid going barefoot, especially on hard surfaces
  • Replace old, worn-out shoes

Plantar Fasciitis vs Heel Spurs

Heel spurs are hook-like bone projections that often develop alongside plantar fasciitis but are not the primary cause of pain. Many people have heel spurs without any heel pain symptoms. Heel spurs result from strain on the plantar fascia, which can occur with plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis in Children

Though less common than in adults, plantar fasciitis can also develop in children, particularly those engaged in athletic activities that place significant impact on their growing feet and legs. Symptoms and treatments are generally the same for pediatric plantar fasciitis.

Potential Complications

If left untreated, plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic pain that makes walking difficult. Your quality of life could be reduced and movement restricted as a result of this condition. In severe cases, a dysfunctional plantar fascia may cause changes in how you walk that create issues in the knees, hips, and back.

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Dr. Kris Dinucci

What is plantar fasciitis surgery?

Plantar fasciitis surgery is a surgical procedure performed to relieve the pain and dysfunction caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition where the plantar fascia ligament in the arch of the foot becomes inflamed and irritated. The goal is to release tension and repair any tears or damage in the plantar fascia.

Why is plantar fasciitis surgery performed?

Plantar fasciitis surgery is considered when conservative, non-surgical treatments like rest, physical therapy, night splints, injections, and anti-inflammatory medications have failed to provide lasting relief from severe and chronic plantar fasciitis symptoms after several months.

Who’s a good candidate for plantar fasciitis surgery? 

Good candidates for plantar fasciitis surgery include those with chronic heel pain that interferes with daily activities despite trying extended courses of non-operative treatments. The surgery may also be recommended for those with a partial or complete tear of the plantar fascia.

What’s the procedure like?

During traditional open plantar fasciitis surgery, the podiatric surgeon makes an incision into the heel area to gain access to the plantar fascia ligament. The plantar fascia is then partially detached from the heel bone to release tension and repair any tears. 

A newer endoscopic or minimally invasive technique utilizes tiny incisions and small instruments along with a camera to release the plantar fascia and remove any heel spur present.

How long does it take to recover from plantar fasciitis surgery?

Recovery from open surgery:

With open plantar fasciitis surgery, patients typically require crutches for several weeks to avoid bearing weight on the surgical site. Stitches are removed around 2 weeks, and return to normal shoes and activities can take 4-6 weeks. Full recovery may require 3-6 months.

Recovery from endoscopic surgery:

Thanks to the smaller incisions, recovery from endoscopic plantar fascia release is faster – usually within 2-3 weeks for daily activities though swelling can persist for several months. Patients are allowed to bear weight more quickly than open surgery.

What are the potential risks and side effects of plantar fasciitis surgery?

While plantar fasciitis surgery is generally safe, any surgical procedure carries some risks such as bleeding, infection, nerve damage, and prolonged swelling. Other potential complications include failure of the surgery to fully relieve pain, flat foot development, and chronic inflammation. Working with an experienced foot and ankle surgeon like Dr. DiNucci at Arizona Foot reduces these risks.

Arizona Foot is a leading provider of plantar fasciitis surgery and other treatments for heel pain in the Scottsdale, AZ area. If you are suffering from chronic heel pain that hasn't responded to conservative remedies, contact us at 480.342.9999 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kris Dr. DiNucci, DPM FACFAS to discuss surgical options. Our podiatry team is committed to relieving your plantar fasciitis symptoms so you can get back on your feet and regain your active lifestyle.