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Plantar Fasciitis

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One of the most common foot conditions, plantar fasciitis can severely limit mobility and restrict activities by causing shooting pain. Both active and inactive individuals can develop this problem, which can become more serious and painful with time. Our board certified orthopaedic surgeons offer leading treatments for plantar fasciitis, emphasizing conservative, non-surgical techniques that often provide noticeable improvement in the issue. If you believe you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, we can help. Talk to us today to learn more.

Have additional questions? Call our skilled medical team to schedule a consultation and evaluation.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the fascia, a band of thick, fibrous connective tissue located on the bottom of the foot and extending from the heel to the ball of the foot. While it more commonly affects athletes and runners, this condition can also become a source of concern for other individuals. Plantar fasciitis usually develops as a result of small tears in the fascia, often caused by stress and overuse, or perhaps by incorrect or excessive stretching. That said, not all of the causes are currently known.

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are often most noticeable and severe in the morning, when taking those first steps out of bed. Most people describe the symptoms as sharp, stabbing pain in the heel. While discomfort should decrease during the day and with regular walking, standing or sitting for long periods may result in the sharp sensation returning. The pain may also become exacerbated following exercise, though it should not be painful while being active.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options

Some risk factors have been identified when it comes to plantar fasciitis, including certain types of exercise such as running, ballet and dance, and jumping activities. Individuals who engage in these exertions should be mindful of caring for their heel and foot health.

In most cases of plantar fasciitis, non-surgical treatment is effective in relieving the discomfort. Foot surgery is uncommon but may be necessary if pain becomes constant and unceasing, even after conservative approaches are attempted.

Non-Surgical Treatments

Some of the techniques used to alleviate plantar fasciitis symptoms include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Physical therapy
  • Night splints
  • Orthotics
  • Steroid injections
  • Shock wave therapy
  • Tenex procedure (used to remove scar tissue in a minimally invasive manner)

Surgical Treatments

Rarely, surgery may be recommended to address plantar fasciitis symptoms that are not relieved through other methods. Surgery entails releasing the fascia from the heel to halt the pain caused by the tightened tissue. It’s important to note that this procedure will weaken the arch of the foot, which should be considered carefully before moving forward.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

In addition to treatments that our orthopaedic surgeons can perform, patients can also minimize their risk or reduce their pain by maintaining a healthy weight, wearing appropriate and supportive shoes, transitioning to a new sport or activity, icing the affected area daily, and stretching the arches. Our physical therapists can provide examples of the types of stretches that can help.

Bothered by plantar fasciitis? Talk to one of our foot and ankle surgeons about your options. Call us today to schedule a consultation.