When non-surgical treatments do not resolve the painful symptoms, plantar fasciitis surgery may be the best option to take. However, before considering surgery, most surgeons make sure that the patient has unsuccessfully tried conventional treatments (orthotics, physical therapy, etc.) for at least nine months.
Plantar fasciitis is a disorder that usually affects the plantar fascia ligament that holds up the arch of the foot. It connects the ball of the foot to the underside of the heel. Constant pressure and stress on the ligament connected to the heel bone can result in a painful inflammation known as plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis symptoms
Plantar fasciitis is marked with the following symptoms:
- Heel pain at the bottom of the foot.
- Pain usually occurs in the morning after getting out of bed.
- Arch pain may also be present.
- The pain, which can range from moderate to acute, may feel like the heel is being shredded. Most sufferers compare the pain to stepping on a nail.
- Pain even when the slightest weight or pressure is placed on the affected foot.
Plantar fasciitis causes
Plantar fasciitis doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it caused by a single traumatic incident. The condition gradually develops over time when strain is constantly placed on the bottom of the foot. Pain may suddenly be felt once the condition is fully developed.
Plantar fasciitis can occur after an extended period of inactivity. People at the office who sit in front of computers for long periods often suffer from this condition. So do people who are required to be on their feet most of their work hours, such as salesladies.
Other factors that can contribute to the condition include:
- Excess weight
- Flat feet
- Walking or running long distances
- Sports that require much running, turning and jumping, like basketball and tennis
X-ray usually identify bone spurs on the heel. The bone spur, sometimes referred to as heel spur, appears as a result of repeated strain and trauma on the ligament attached to the heel bone. Heel spurs can develop without being noticed and pain may not be felt for months, even years.
The symptoms are generally treated without surgical intervention. Treatment can take two months to a year and is usually done in combination with other treatments.
Bone spur formation
Plantar fasciitis can occur with or without the presence of bone spurs. Since they are inclined to occur at the same time, plantar fasciitis and bone spur are sometimes referred to interchangeably. Bone spur size can range from small to very large, which rarely has any correlation with the pain. In some cases, heel spurs can be formed by certain health conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis.
The gradual growth of heel or bone spurs is caused by the plantar fascia ligament tugging on the heel bone. The body responds by forming calcium deposits to protect the surrounding heel tissues from constant trauma and injury. This eventually opens the way for bone spur formation.
Sufferers generally thought that the pushing of the bone spur under the foot causes the discomfort and pain. More often than not, heel spur formation is forward-pointing and not downward. If the spur growth goes downward, it will cause a pressure area, and putting weight on the affected foot will bring excruciating pain.
When plantar fasciitis surgery is required
Plantar fasciitis syndrome has two important factors that need to be considered for surgery. They need to be properly assessed together with the symptoms to determine the best surgical method.
If the plantar fascia ligament is taut and strained
Plantar fasciitis surgery mainly involves stretching the plantar fascia ligament. The ligament can either be cut transversely or cut to remove a section. Only a portion of the ligament is cut as sectioning it entirely may damage the foot.
If bone spur (heel spur) is present
The removal of the bone spur will have to be considered. While the spur occurs as a result of a stretched ligament, it generally does not cause heel pain. Surgically removing the spur will thus depend on its size, direction of growth (downward or forward), its location, the patient’s symptoms, or if a fracture is present.
Before taking extreme or lengthy treatments, try HeelAid™. This natural, safe and gentle topical application is formulated to relieve plantar fasciitis pain in less than ten days.
Plantar fasciitis surgery has certain risks
Like most surgeries, there are certain risks and complications linked with plantar fascia surgery. These include:
- Pain (short-term or long-lasting)
- Bad wound healing
- Temporary or long-term nerve inhury
- Ugly scar
- Weakened foot
- Need for further corrective surgery
Recovering after plantar fasciitis surgery
Some patients can recover fast and be able to walk after plantar fasciiitis surgery. Other patients may walk with the aid of crutches. It depends on the surgical procedure used by the surgeon. Recovery period can take up to a month or so depending once again to the method of surgery.