The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

Posted by on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

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There is good news for plantar fasciitis sufferers. Despite excruciating pain, only five out of 100 patients require surgery. Most people recover completely within a year using nonsurgical treatments, says WebMD. Tearing and inflammation of the plantar fascia tissue, which connects the heel to the toes, is the most common cause of heel pain. It is estimated that 10% of Americans will suffer from this condition at some point during their lifetimes.

Conservative Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

Ninety percent of people suffering from plantar fasciitis heel pain will recover within a few months from home therapy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Rest is the most important treatment for plantar fasciitis. You want to avoid running or walking on hard surfaces as much as possible. Ice and anti-inflammatory medication like Advil or aspirin will help reduce the inflammation. You will most likely need to buy a new pair of shoes with adequate cushioning and arch support. Over-the-counter shoe inserts can sometimes help with the pain. Toe and calf stretches are generally recommended. Some patients are encouraged to go into a weight loss program to take some of the burden off the feet too. Following these steps, you should feel considerable relief within six weeks.

Advanced Plantar Fasciitis Treatments & Surgery

The next level of treatment includes custom-made orthotic shoe inserts. Sometimes people have an unusual shaped foot or wear the wrong type of shoe sole for their feet. Here at the NYC Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, we can help you transform every shoe into “the right shoe” by taking a mold of your feet and creating a leather pad that can go inside almost any footwear.

Another option would be to fit you with a night splint, which will hold your toes pointing up all night to apply a gentle stretch to the plantar fascia. Walking casts and physical therapy are done for people who need extra help slowing down and taking it easy — like postal workers or small business executives who are running themselves into the ground at work. Corticosteroid shots can provide short-term pain relief for some people as well.

Surgery is reserved for people who have had severe heel pain for six to twelve months, despite home treatment. There are some benefits of foot surgery. About seventy-five percent of the people who do get surgery say it helps tremendously.

However, risks include: nerve damage, heel pain, the development of a benign neuroma tumor, delayed wound healing, swelling, infection, and a longer recovery time.

Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

As previously mentioned, most people should notice recovery within about six weeks if they take steps to improve their situation. Recovery time for surgery depends on the type you choose, says WebMD. Traditional open surgery requires you to wear a non-weight-bearing cast or ski-boot-style brace for two to three weeks, which will protect your tissues as they heal. With endoscopic surgery, you will be able to wear your normal shoes right away and return to regular activities in three to six weeks. With any type of surgery, more strenuous running or jumping activities will be limited for three months.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.