"Plantar Fac?" It's Actually Plantar Fasciitis, and here's what it is.
Plantar Fac...we know what you mean.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Patients with plantar fasciitis tend to have consistent symptoms. These will affect the "plantar" surface of the foot or the bottom of the heel.
- The classic symptom of plantar fasciitis is when the first few steps out of bed are painful.
- The pain can be dull and aching or in some cases even excruciating.
- Symptoms often ease up after the first few steps
- For someone who stands a lot or does a lot of activity, symptoms can worsen
Why does plantar fasciitis happen?
Simply put, tissue fatigue. The arch of the foot has become stressed by too much strain. We also have some evidence telling us that some people are more prone to the condition. This is due to biological factors.
Who Is At Risk for plantar fasciitis?
As mentioned, some people are inherently more at risk.
From a non-biological standpoint, those at risk for plantar fasciitis often have a tight Achilles tendon or spend a lot of time on their feet. They are runners or folks who have gotten a little overweight.
Is it common to get plantar facsiitis in both feet?
For the most part, plantar fasciitis occurs on just one side, but it can occur in both feet in rare cases.
What's The Plantar Fascia?
Let's talk biology. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that attaches to the heel bone. It runs underneath the foot all the way out to the toes.
As mentioned, The condition is primarily degenerative. The condition results from repetitive stress injury or aging. Also, bone spurs often form at the attachment site of the plantar fascia to the heel. But these are generally not considered to be the cause of the condition.
Will my plantar fac heal without surgery?
According to Dr. Elton, surgery is rarely needed for treating plantar fasciitis. About 90 percent of people will get better with non-operative options. Usually, this occurs after about 6-10 months of treatment. This can be particularly trying for active patients who don't want to put their activities on hold.
Do I need surgery for plantar fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is painful. But unlike some other conditions, it doesn't always need surgery. Once in a while, we will have to operate on a patient with plantar fasciitis. But first, let's talk about what we can do to treat the condition without having to dip into our surgical toolbox.
TREATMENT OPTIONS For Plantar Fac
The typical non-surgical treatment for plantar fasciitis is multi-faceted. That's why we prefer to tailor our treatment to the individual patient. The physical exam, patient history, and x-rays determine our regimen. Non-surgical treatment may include the following:
- stretching and strengthening exercises
- physical therapy
- supportive footwear
- heel cups and a night splint to keep the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia stretched out throughout the night.
Second Line Treatment Options For Plantar Fasciitis
Second line treatments for someone who isn't getting better after initial treatments might be steroid injections.
Like most orthopaedic treatments there's not one treatment regimen that works for all people. We tailor the treatment plan for each patient.
But there are those extreme cases where surgery does become necessary. And when that happens, there are a couple different surgical options for treating plantar fasciitis.
The classic approach is to make an incision to expose the plantar fascia and remove the diseased part. At the same time we are releasing the nerve that's getting pinched.
Minimally invasive procedure for plantar fasciitis
We have new minimally invasive technique to deal with Plantar Fasciitis. Here's how it works.
- We make a tiny incision just over the heel.
- An ultrasound device is used during the procedure. This helps us to identify the exact location of the diseased tissue.
- We insert a small device that breaks up and then removes the diseased tissue.
The procedure can be performed in about 15 minutes. W do have to use local anesthetic. Patients can walk on the foot immediately. Even better, most patients return to full activities within four to six weeks.
Have plantar fasciitis? Don't give up!
Unfortunately, not all patients are candidates for minimally invasive treatment. Why? Because some will have related nerve irritation or severe Achilles tightness. If this is the case, that requires a separate procedure to correct.
The most important thing when treating plantar fasciitis is to not give up! Be patient and remember that things will get better.