Surgery for Plantar Fasciitis

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR 
PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Ice for Plantar Fasciitis

Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis

Corticosteroid Injection for Plantar Fasciitis

Exercise for Plantar Fasciitis

Surgery for Plantar Fasciitis

Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Low Level Laser Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Treatment Ratings

R
E
S
C
U
R

RISK: 3/5

3_Hearts_Treatment_RatingThere are risks to all surgeries, including infection and nerve damage. Completely severing the plantar fascia will result in flat foot, hallux valgus (bunion) and hammer toes and will require lifelong use of orthotics. Some patients can experience more pain after the surgery than they had before, and some experience persistent numbness in the foot.

Shazia A, Davinder P, Singh B. Plantar heel pain. Clin Focus Prim Care. 2011;5:128–33.

E

EFFECTIVENESS: 3/5

3_Hearts_Treatment_Rating

Few studies have been done on the effectiveness of plantar fascia surgery. One study showed about 70% of patients were better after surgery, but only half were completely satisfied.

Tahririan MA, Motififard M, Tahmasebi MN, Siavashi B. Plantar fasciitis. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. 2012;17(8):799-804.

S

SELF CARE: 0/5

0_Hearts_Treatment_Rating

You cannot (or should not) do surgery on your own foot!

C

COST: 2/5

2_Hearts_Treatment_Rating

Plantar fasciitis surgery can cost $10,000 depending on where you live, your insurance coverage and other factors.

Treating Plantar Fasciitis

U

USEFULNESS (overall rating): 3/5

3_Hearts_Treatment_Rating

Plantar fasciitis surgery should only be considered after at least 6 months of conservative therapies, and when the pain significantly affects your ability to do other activities, such as work or walking. While most patients who undergo surgery are satisfied with their results, it is expensive and has significant risks. Surgery should be considered as a last resort.

Surgery is rarely needed for plantar fasciitis and most foot surgeons recommend trying other conservative forms of therapy for at least 6 months before considering surgery. If PF is causing severe pain and disability and no other treatments have been helpful, it may be an option.

Doctors used to think heel spurs caused PF, but most now believe they are a result of chronic tugging and irritation where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone. Once relatively common, surgery to remove heel spurs is rarely performed these days.

Generally, surgery involves cutting or releasing the plantar fascia, and often also includes freeing up the nerve in the area. It can be done through an incision, or endoscopically (using instruments through a small hole in the skin.)

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