An Overview: Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Overview
Plantar fasciitis is a common inflammation of the heel bone. It is a result of a repetitive strain/tear and repair of the fascia from traction that has worn it out. The plantar fascia runs along the length of the sole of the foot and assists in maintaining the inner arch. Like an elastic band left in the sun it can lose its stretch and develop many micro tears.

Heel spurs which form just beneath the plantar fascia, were originally thought to be the cause however it has been proven that they are NOT responsible and therefore don’t need to be removed.  It is possible they form because of the inflammation in the soft tissue.

Initial treatment should include analgesics, anti-inflammatories, massage, the application of ice and exercises that stretch the fascia and strengthen the muscles.  Cushioning heel pads and night splints may also help.  Ultrasound and shock wave therapy and cortisone injections can also be considered.

Process
If surgery is thought necessary it is performed either through an incision on the in-step of the foot.
Recovery Times
Hospital stayDay surgery
Rest & elevation7 days
Crutches/frame5-7 days
Foot swelling4 weeks
Sport6-12 weeks
Time off work
Seated1 week
Standing3-4 weeks
Benefits
  • Less pain
  • Return to sport and every day activities
Risks

Complications are rare with this procedure although as with all surgery there can be a risk of infection, blood clots, nerve injury and a reaction to the anaesthetic.

  • Persistence of pain
  • Discomfort outer part of top of foot

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