Hide this
plantar fasciitis foot surgery

Story at-a-glance -

  • Surgery is said to be a conventional treatment protocol for plantar fasciitis patients. However, it is not the end-all and be-all of plantar fasciitis treatment, especially when effective non-surgical methods to treat this condition are available
  • Two types of surgery are performed on plantar fasciitis patients. The first is called a gastrocnemius recession, a procedure that involves a surgical lengthening of calf or gastrocnemius muscles. Another surgical procedure that can be done is the plantar fascia release
 

Is Surgery Advisable for Plantar Fasciitis?

| 1,638 views

Surgery is said to be a conventional treatment protocol for plantar fasciitis patients. However, it is not the end-all and be-all of plantar fasciitis treatment, especially when effective non-surgical methods to treat this condition are available.

If you or someone you know has plantar fasciitis, take note that a surgical procedure should only be considered after one year of aggressive and nonsurgical treatment,1 or if you experience any of these predicaments:2

Other treatment methods you’ve been using for at least six months have been ineffective in treating pain.

Your ability to do work or moderate exercise has been affected because of heel pain.

Surgical Procedures for Plantar Fasciitis

Two types of surgery are performed on plantar fasciitis patients. The first is called a gastrocnemius recession, a procedure that involves a surgical lengthening of calf or gastrocnemius muscles.

Patients who still find it difficult to flex their feet, despite a year of doing calf stretches, might find a gastrocnemius recession useful, since tight calf muscles cause increased stress on your plantar fascia.3

During a gastrocnemius recession, one of the two muscles that comprise the calf is lengthened to add to the motion of your ankle. This is done via a traditional, open incision or by making a smaller incision and looking inside the area using an endoscope, a device that has a small camera.4

Another surgical procedure that can be done is the plantar fascia release. Patients who complain of continuous heel pain but have a normal range of motion in their ankle are usually recommended by their physicians to undergo this type of surgery.

In this procedure, the plantar fascia ligament is partially cut to relieve tension in the tissue. If there is a large bone spur, or a pointed outgrowth of bone,5 this is removed too.6

A plantar fascia release can be performed via an endoscopy, wherein the endoscope is inserted into the area, but it is difficult when performed with an open incision. Plus, a higher risk of nerve damage is also associated with an endoscopy.7

Potential Risks for Plantar Fasciitis Surgery

If you get the green light for surgery, take note of the following general risks associated with these surgical procedures, such as:8

A pinched nerve or tarsal tunnel syndrome or posterior tibial neuralgia, wherein the tibial nerve in your tarsal becomes compressed9

Recurring heel pain

Neuroma, a benign yet painful tumor comprised of nerve cells and nerve fibers typically felt between your third and fourth toes, and can lead to a burning sensation, tingling or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot10

Wounds that take a long time to heal

Delays in performing normal activities

Infection/s

Risks caused by anesthesia

Worsened symptoms post-surgery (but this is considered to be rare)

Nerve damage (although this applies to patients who underwent a gastrocnemius recession, and complication rates are typically low)11

< Previous

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Next >

Plantar Fasciitis Exercises

Click Here and be the first to comment on this article

Thank you! Your purchases help us support these charities and organizations.