- Pain on the bottom of your foot (especially in the morning)
- Limping due to foot pain
- Swelling, redness, and warmth on the bottom of the foot
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis results from inflammation of the soft tissue on the bottom of your foot (the plantar fascia) that supports your arch. The plantar fascia acts as a shock absorber. The plantar fascia can sustain minor tears leading to inflammation and pain. Factors contributing to plantar fascia pain are obesity, overuse, tight calf muscles, abnormal walking or running movements, poor shoe wear, loss of arch, and trauma.
Most cases of plantar fasciitis may be treated nonsurgically by splinting/taping and resting. Avoiding aggravating activities that cause pain, taking anti-inflammatories, providing proper arch support, physical therapy, and/or receiving corticosteroid injection(s) can also help. While nonsurgical treatment can relieve mild cases of the condition, surgery may be necessary.
Minimally Invasive Ultrasound-Guided Debridement
Eventually, the damaged tissue in the tendon will start to affect the ability to move the ankle/heel joint and limit our ability to perform activities that we enjoy. Plantar fasciitis is related to soft tissues in the heel and, when left untreated, will more than likely become worse with time. Until recently, treatment options were limited to physical therapy, injections, or a traditional open surgery to treat plantar fasciitis. These treatment options often resulted in months of downtime. There is now a new treatment, which is minimally invasive and designed to break down and remove the damaged tissue in the heel. One of the top orthopaedic surgeons in the Quad Cities, Dr. Tuvi Mendel, will use an ultrasound imaging system to locate the damaged tissue in the tendon by making a small incision, and then the tip of the ultrasound device is inserted and delivers ultrasonic energy, which breaks down and removes the tissue that is damaged. The healthy tissue is left undisturbed, and when the procedure is complete, a small Steri-Strip is placed over the incision and typically no sutures are required.
Traditional Open Plantar Fascia Resection Surgery
During an open plantar fascia resection, part of the plantar fascia ligament is cut, which relieves some tension that may have built up. This is achieved by making an incision near the heel pad followed by incisions to the ligament to release the tightness. In addition, if a heel spur is present, it can also be removed with any damaged tissue.
Following surgery, a cast or brace may be used to restrict weight on the heel of the foot to allow the fascia to heal. It typically takes at least three months to regain full activity.