If you are considering surgery for plantar fasciitis, there are a few things to keep in mind. These things include the common causes of the condition, the recovery time, and non-surgical treatments.
Common causes of plantar fasciitis
When you have plantar fasciitis, you may experience pain on the bottom of your foot, usually around the heel. This pain may be aggravated by activities such as running or walking. However, a majority of people with the condition can relieve their symptoms with nonsurgical treatments.
Although the cause of plantar fasciitis is not completely understood, some factors that increase the risk of developing the condition include obesity, biomechanical problems, and repetitive stress. Repetitive strain on the plantar fascia can lead to small tears. These tears irritate the fascia and cause inflammation.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain when you step on the foot or when you get out of bed. This pain can also radiate into the foot.
The pain is caused by the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Most cases of plantar fasciitis result from overuse stress.
When plantar fasciitis does not respond to conservative treatment, surgery is the next option. Surgical treatment includes cutting part of the fascia. X-rays and an ultrasound are used to detect thickening of the fascia and the presence of calcifications.
Other surgical procedures include releasing the fascia, open plantar fascia release, and endoscopic plantar fascia release. These procedures involve making an incision on the bottom of the foot and removing a portion of the fascia.
Non-surgical treatments for plantar fasciitis
For those with plantar fasciitis, there are a number of nonsurgical treatments. These include stretching, icing, and wearing shoes with a firm heel counter.
Physical therapy is also an option for some people. A physical therapist can help with strengthening exercises and taping the foot. They may also suggest using orthotic devices, which may prevent the plantar fascia from pulling and straining.
If conservative treatments do not improve your condition, surgery may be a possible solution. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by several factors, including overuse, tight muscles in the feet, or poor force attenuation.
For some patients, corticosteroid injections are a viable option. These injections can reduce inflammation dramatically. However, they carry risks, such as rupturing the plantar fascia.
Some people prefer to avoid the use of steroid injections and opt instead for minimally invasive treatments. One such treatment is extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which uses mechanical shock waves to promote healing. Unlike steroid injections, this treatment has no surgical requirement and no recovery time.
Another nonsurgical option is ultrasonic tissue repair, which uses ultrasound imaging to guide a probe toward an injured plantar fascia. The tip of the probe vibrates to break up damaged tissue.
If nonsurgical treatment does not work for you, or you are unable to tolerate steroid injections, you may want to consider iontophoresis. The treatment involves administering medication by applying mild electrical current to a patient’s toes.
Recovery time for plantar fasciitis surgery
The recovery time for plantar fasciitis surgery can be a long process. The length of time depends on the type of surgery you have, how much pain you have, and how your condition has progressed.
When it comes to recovering from foot surgery, the best way to get a sense of what to expect is to talk to your doctor. Often, your doctor will prescribe a non-weightbearing brace for two to four weeks. This helps to reduce the weight on the heel, which allows the fascia to heal.
When you’re not wearing the brace, you’ll be allowed to take a small amount of weight on the heel. However, you shouldn’t go on a run or do any high-impact activity until you’re cleared to do so.
If you’re suffering from chronic heel pain, it may be worth considering plantar fascia surgery. It’s an effective treatment option for many people. It’s also a great way to ease discomfort, reduce swelling, and relieve pressure on the heel.
When you’re recovering from surgery, your doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your surgical incisions. You’ll also be advised to avoid activities that can increase pain, and wear a supportive shoe for at least six weeks.
During the first four weeks after surgery, you’ll undergo physical therapy to improve flexibility. You’ll also be given exercises to strengthen the muscles in your hip and leg. Then, you’ll be able to gradually return to your normal activities.