If you’ve ever experienced plantar fasciitis pain, you know how debilitating it can be. Around 10% of the population will experience plantar fasciitis at some point in life. It can interfere with exercise, work, and daily tasks, and unfortunately, it can affect anyone. Older people and those who perform certain repetitive body movements are more susceptible, but sometimes it strikes for no apparent reason.
The first line of defense against plantar fasciitis is usually nonsurgical treatment. Your podiatrist might recommend doing stretches or using ice, massage, splints, or oral medications. Most cases of plantar fasciitis eventually go away, and these noninvasive treatments are often effective. However, sometimes, nothing seems to work. In these cases, surgery might become necessary to relieve your pain.
If your doctor recommends surgery to treat your plantar fasciitis (and/or your related heel spurs), you might be wondering what to expect. This article will describe each step of the process, so you can feel prepared when you arrive on the day of your appointment.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
If you’re experiencing heel pain, there’s a strong chance that plantar fasciitis is to blame. Your plantar fascia attaches your heel bone to your toes, and this ligament can become irritated or inflamed for a variety of reasons. Tiny tears in your plantar fascia can cause it to swell. This leads to a stabbing or throbbing sensation in your heel.
Pain is often worse when you first get up in the morning. However, it often comes and goes throughout the day, as you go from sitting to standing. Many people find that walking on hard, flat surfaces becomes very painful.
Why Treat Plantar Fasciitis With a NYC Podiatrist?
Some patients decide to live with plantar fasciitis instead of trying the various treatments available. However, this condition can seriously impact your quality of life. It can limit your exercise and athletic performance, which can negatively affect your health. You may also change your gait to try to compensate for the pain. This can lead to further problems with your bones, muscles, and joints.
It might seem strange that heel pain can lead to chronic pain in areas like your back and hips. However, plantar fasciitis can eventually become a full-body problem. Ultimately, it’s best to treat plantar fasciitis so you can enjoy life and avoid complications down the road.
Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis
To understand the surgical procedure, it’s important to know about the connection between heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis causes a lot of strain and irritation to your foot. When you continue to walk on the affected foot, your body does its best to protect itself from the pain. This often involves growing extra tissue on your heel bone, called a spur.
Many patients don’t feel pain from their heel spur itself. However, it can be hard to know for sure where your pain is coming from because heel spur pain feels like plantar fasciitis pain. If you have both heel spurs and plantar fasciitis, your doctor will probably focus on treating the plantar fasciitis. However, if surgery becomes necessary for your plantar fasciitis, it may make sense to remove your heel spur during the procedure. This can help reduce the chances that you’ll need future surgery.
The Day Of Your Visit
On the day of your surgery, wear comfortable shoes. You should ask someone else to be available to drive you home, in case you need help. You do not need to avoid eating or drinking. However, you should check with your podiatrist for special instructions for taking prescription medication. Blood thinners and other medicines may interfere with your surgery.
Preparing For Surgery
Before your surgery, your podiatric team may do imaging to see if you have bone spurs to remove. This may depend on the size of your spur. On the day of your surgery, you’ll be given an injectable anesthetic in your foot. Your provider will make sure you can’t feel anything in your foot before proceeding with the surgery.
During Your Surgery
Your doctor will perform a tiny incision on the bottom of your heel. They can then use it to access your plantar fascia ligament. They will use an instrument called a rasp to make small cuts in this ligament. This will release the tension in it and relieve your pain. The whole procedure takes about two minutes. They can also shave down your heel spur during this time.
After Your Surgery
Expect to be able to walk and stand right away. Your stitches will remain in your foot for about a week. The best part is that your pain should now be gone! Once you’re healed from surgery, you can enjoy a life free from plantar fasciitis and heel spur pain.
Is It Time For Plantar Fasciitis Surgery?
It’s best to try less aggressive treatment for plantar fasciitis first. Treatments like icing, splints, exercises, and massages often solve the problem for many patients. You might also be able to get injections in your foot to reduce the inflammation.
However, when these options fail, it might be time for surgery instead. Talk to your doctor if you’ve been living with plantar fasciitis pain for at least 6 months, and there’s no relief in sight. They can help you figure out whether surgery might be recommended. Although surgery doesn’t always fully relieve pain, outcomes are good and the procedure is generally effective.
Are You Ready To Discuss Surgery?
If you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis pain, don’t wait to get help. Whether surgery is recommended right now, or it might be an option for you in the future, the podiatric staff at Best Foot Doctor NY can help you plan your next move. They can also advise you about nonsurgical treatments and evaluate the source of your pain. Call (718) 291-9020 today to schedule an appointment. Plantar fasciitis can be discouraging, but there is light at the end of the tunnel!