What is plantar fascia surgery?

Plantar Fascia Surgery
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Plantar fascia release: Overview

Plantar fascia release surgery involves cutting part of the plantar fascia ligament to release tension on the ligament. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on. Plantar fascia release can be done by cutting the area (open surgery) or by inserting instruments through small incisions (endoscopic surgery).

How well does plantar fascia release work?

Plantar fascia release surgery may be an option if you have tried home treatment for at least 6 months. There isn't enough evidence for experts to say how well this surgery works.

What are the risks of plantar fascia release?

Risks of plantar fascia release include:

  • Nerve problems, including nerve entrapment or tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • Recurring heel pain.
  • Neuroma, a benign tumor made of nerve cells and nerve fibers.
  • Delayed wound healing.
  • Infection.
  • Risks of anesthesia.
  • Possibility that symptoms could get worse after surgery (rare).

What can you expect as you recover from plantar fascia release?

If you have endoscopic surgery, you may be able to do limited weight-bearing soon after surgery. You may also begin wearing normal shoes again as soon as it is comfortable. Most people return to their normal activities in 3 to 6 weeks.

If you have traditional open surgery, you may wear a non-weight-bearing cast or walking boot for 2 to 3 weeks after surgery to allow tissues to heal. It will take longer to return to normal activities with this type of surgery.

Physical therapy may be recommended after surgery. This will help you with gradual strength, flexibility, and range of motion as you heal.

Why is plantar fascia release done?

Surgery is rarely needed for people with plantar fasciitis. Generally, your doctor may recommend surgery if you continue to have severe symptoms after 6 to 12 months of home and other nonsurgical treatment.

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