Surgery May Ultimately Be the Right Choice

by David McCullough

Plantar fasciitis surgery is typically used only as a last resort option for most patients, and can carry with it a significant risk of infection, plantar fasciitis rupture, nerve injury, and a failure to successfully eliminate the associated pain that most patients with plantar fasciitis suffer from.

Most patients can benefit from some of the less invasive forms of treatment besides surgery, and therefore don’t have to utilize this option, although the patients that do can benefit from a full recovery if the associated procedure goes well.

When Surgery Is Appropriate

When all other treatment methods have failed, including extracorporeal shock therapy, and cortisone injections, plantar fasciitis release may be considered. Before a surgical procedure for plantar fasciitis can be implemented certain criteria must be satisfied.

First, the patient must have been suffering for at least 9-12 months while trying other forms of less invasive therapies. These should include stretching exercises, orthotics, and perhaps foot braces and other kinds of footwear. Behavior modulation and rest should have also been attempted to give the fascia a chance to recover. When this timeframe has elapsed and no other form of treatment was successful, surgery may then be considered.

Risk of Surgery

Patients who may be candidates for surgery must first become aware of the significant level of risk that comes with such a treatment option. First the patient’s arch may be reduced to a significant extent if the fascia is released too much during surgery. Patients must also realize that numbness may occur in certain areas around the foot if the nerves around the fascia become damaged.

Antibiotics are also used as a preventative measure during most procedures, and patients with allergies, or other sorts of risk factors may experience complications with these types of medications. Patients should also be aware that a surgical procedure may not result in a full experience of relief, and that they may come out of surgery with pain around the heel.

Surgical Procedure

Most surgical procedures that can benefit patients who may be suffering from plantar fasciitis involve a type of open surgery. During these kinds of procedures the orthopedic surgeon cuts the plantar fascia thus relieving the tension that may be at the root cause of the patient’s pain.

The surgery should begin with an incision around the heel pad, with further incisions then made to the actual fascia ligament. Patients suffering from heel spurs may also have them removed along with other sorts of damaged tissue during the procedure.

After Surgery

Following surgery patients typically wear a cast or brace in order to prevent further stress and pressure to the affected foot. This should ultimately promote a kind of healing environment that should allow the foot to recover over time. Patients also are recommended to stay off their feet as much as possible and to try and avoid the application of significant pressure.

In the end plantar fasciitis surgery may be able to provide relief to a small portion of the patient population who suffers from plantar fasciitis, although it does carry a significant level of risks, and should only be considered after all other treatment options have failed.

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