Inflammation of the plantar fascia, a long ligament found at the bottom of the foot which connects your heel to the front of your foot and helps support the foot’s arch.
The plantar fascia is a long ligament found at the bottom of the foot which connects your heel to the front of your foot and helps support the foot’s arch. The foot is made to withstand high amounts of pressure and movement, however sometimes too much pressure on the plantar fascia can cause damage and tears resulting in an inflamed and irritated plantar fascia or “fasciitis”. This usually develops over time and many factors can contribute to this progressive condition: obesity, high foot arches, repetitive impact activities, or tight calf muscles to name a few. Patients usually complain of pain at the bottom of the foot, especially the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning and after exercise. This is a clinical diagnosis, however if x-rays are obtained it is common for your clinician to see a bone spur at the heel bone (calcaneus). Treatment is almost always conservative with rest, ice, NSAIDs, stretching exercises and wearing proper footwear or orthotics. Sometimes cortisone injections may be used to reduce inflammation and pain. Electrocorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has been used to help stimulate the healing process of the damaged fascia (See “Electrocorporeal shockwave therapy” for more information).
Every patient receives an in-depth consultation to devise a treatment plan that is right for their problem. Our specialists prefer non-operative and non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy, medications, and/or injections. When we require surgery, we will then use minimally invasive surgical techniques to fix your problem, whether it is fixing a broken bone or repairing a tendon. Our goal is always to get you back to living your life normally as soon as possible.