Plantar Fasciitis Surgery: All You Need To Know
Plantar fasciitis is the leading cause of heel pain and affects about 10 percent of the US population during some part of their lives. It occurs due to the degeneration and inflammation of the plantar fascia—a band of connective tissue that runs through the foot arch. For most patients, non-surgical treatments provide effective relief within six months. However, it is not a guarantee that non-surgical options will work for everybody. As a result, many patients need surgery to be able to walk normally again.
Who Gets Plantar Fasciitis Surgery!
More than 90 percent of plantar fasciitis patients do not need surgery. Home treatment such as stretches and wearing supporting footwear is enough for them. However, 3 to 5 percent of the patients require surgery.
You may need it if:
- You have had plantar fasciitis for more than six months
- Non-surgical options have not alleviated your symptoms
- You are unable to walk, work or participate in physical activities
Your doctor will also assess your overall health as certain health conditions, such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, have a high risk of complications.
What Is The Procedure Of Plantar Fasciitis Surgery!
Plantar fasciitis surgery is accomplished in two ways:
- Open Surgery: It takes place in a hospital setting and involves general anesthesia. The doctor makes a 1 to 2-inch incision to expose the plantar fascia and partially cuts it at the heel to relieve tension in the tissue.
- Endoscopic Surgery: Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy is a minimally invasive procedure. It can also be performed in a doctor’s office as it only requires local anesthesia or mild sedation. It is an outpatient procedure that takes between 15 to 30 minutes. The doctor makes two small incisions of about 1cm on either side of the heel. They insert an endoscope through one of the incisions to visualize the fascia and a small knife or surgical hoot through the other to release the fascia.
What Is The Recovery Time For Plantar Fasciitis Surgery!
Recovery from endoscopic plantar fasciotomy is fairly quick since it is a minimally invasive surgery. Although you can wear regular shoes within one or two days, the overall recovery time is nearly six weeks. The first two weeks of the recovery time need to be non-weight-bearing. After that, you can add weight progressively for the next four weeks.
However, recovery from open plantar surgery takes longer, about six to ten weeks. You will need a cast or a unique shoe as you heal. Your doctor will let you know when to wear regular shoes and put weight or pressure on your foot.
What Are The Risks And Side Effects Of Plantar Fasciitis Surgery!
No surgery is free of risks. Some of the side effects may include:
- Nerve injury or nerve entrapment
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Infection at the incision site
- Heel pain recurrence (sometimes with more pain)
- Loss of arch of the foot (you may need to wear an arch-support)
Although endoscopic surgery has a higher risk of nerve damage, it is easy to perform with fewer other complications.
What Is The Success Rate For Plantar Fasciitis Surgery!
Plantar fasciitis surgery has a success rate of about 75 to 95 percent. Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy has a better success rate of about 90 percent.