Surgery for Plantar Fasciitis
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR
There 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.
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.
SELF CARE: 0/5
You cannot (or should not) do surgery on your own foot!
Plantar fasciitis surgery can cost $10,000 depending on where you live, your insurance coverage and other factors.
USEFULNESS (overall rating): 3/5
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.)