Plantar fasciitis or plantar fasciosis a pathology representing a medical problem that is characterized by inflammatory and degenerative changes in the plantar ligament, a dense fascia that runs along the foot and connects the heel to the toes. 

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of irradiating pain in the heel, arch of the foot and ankle.

Causes of development 

The main cause of plantar fasciitis is shortening or contracture (limitation of mobility) of the calf muscles and plantar fascia. What can be provoked:

  • sedentary lifestyle;  
  • obesity;  
  • work involving prolonged sitting;  
  • very high or low arch of the foot;  
  • high-heeled shoes;  
  • constant stresses on the foot, which can provoke micro-tears of the fascia that sometimes lead to chronic inflammation with pain;  
  • rheumatoid, reactive or psoriatic arthritis.

Plantar fasciitis can result in - marginal bone growths (heel spurs)

Characteristic signs of the disease manifest themselves: 

  1. Pain in the heel, which is stronger in the morning at the first steps after waking up. 
  2. Swelling in the heel area. 
  3. Stiffness in the heel, especially in the morning. 
  4. Increased sensitivity in the heel area. 
  5. Increased pain when walking, running, or standing. 
  6. Pain when climbing stairs or inclined surfaces.

When Is Plantar Fascia Release Recommended?

Plantar fascia offloading is a measure aimed at relieving stress on the irritated or inflamed plantar fascia in order to reduce pain and promote healing. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

  • Activity modification: limiting or changing physical activity that may increase symptoms (running or jumping). 
  • Using special shoes: with good foot support and cushioning. 
  • Use of orthopedic inserts or insoles: to help soften impact and distribute the pressure on the foot more evenly. 
  • Physical therapy and exercises: exercises to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the foot and lower leg. 
  • Steroid ointments combined with electrophoresis. 
  • Use of supportive orthoses. 

If such measures, applied for six months, have not led to an improvement in the condition, and the pain sensations become very pronounced and limit the patient's daily activities, the doctor may decide on the need for surgery.

Preparation for Surgery

Preparing a patient for plantar fasciitis surgery is an important step that will help ensure a successful surgical procedure and a faster recovery.

The first step is a consultation with a specialist  

  • The doctor will perform a detailed examination, clarify the symptoms and talk about the further stages of treatment. Dr. Yanovskiy will prescribe standard laboratory tests and additional tests such as ultrasound, X-rays, or MRI to evaluate the condition of the foot and heel bone. 

Preparation for the surgery itself includes a number of restrictions:  

  • Hours before the operation, refrain from eating and drinking;  
  • Prior to surgery (in consultation with your doctor), stop taking medications that may affect blood clotting. Make sure to consult with the doctor.  

Discuss your concerns and expectations with your doctor. It is important to be mentally prepared for surgery and to focus on your health and recovery. 

The Plantar Fascia Release Procedure

A plantar fascia release procedure is performed to relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Various methods can be used for this purpose, including fasciotomy, and shockwave therapy.

Fasciotomy for plantar fasciitis

It is a surgical procedure that aims to partially cut the fascia of the foot to relieve tension and reduce pain. The surgery is performed under local or general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the fascia of the foot to reduce tension and pressure on the heel and sole of the foot. The wound is then sutured, and a dressing is applied. The surgery can be done open or be minimally invasive, done with an endoscope.

Kinesiotaping for plantar fasciitis 

This is a method in which a special elastic tape (taping) is applied to the foot to support muscles and joints, improve blood circulation and reduce pain. Kinesiotaping requires the application of elastic tapes to the pre-cleaned and degreased skin in the heel and foot area in a specific pattern, so that they support the fascia of the foot and reduce pressure on the heel. The tape is then activated by rubbing it with the hands. It is performed by a kinesiotaping specialist who takes into account the individual characteristics of the patient and the nature of their pain.

All of these methods can be used alone or in combination, depending on the severity of the condition and the individual characteristics of the patient. However, before using any of these methods, a doctor should be consulted to determine the most appropriate treatment approach.

Recovery and Aftercare

After plantar fasciitis surgery, it is important to follow your doctor's recommendations to ensure a successful recovery 

First 1–3 weeks:

  • Walking with the help of crutches or walkers. 
  • Limiting the load on the foot (as recommended by a doctor). 
  • Taking painkillers. 
  • Cold compresses to reduce swelling. 
  • Dressings and wound care. 
  • Exercises to maintain mobility of the ankle joint.

3–4 weeks: 

  • Gradually increasing the load on the foot. 
  • Wearing orthopedic shoes. 
  • Physical therapy to strengthen the muscles of the foot. 
  • Exercises to stretch the plantar fascia.

6–12 months. 

  • Continued exercises to strengthen the muscles and stretch the fascia. 
  • Follow-up with your doctor to assess progress.

Follow your doctor's instructions 

  • Do not overload the foot. 
  • Do exercises regularly. 
  • Consult your doctor if you have pain or other problems. 
  • Eliminate high-heeled shoes from your closet. 
  • Use orthopedic insoles. 
  • Control your weight. 
  • Do foot exercises every day.

Recovery time can vary depending on the severity of the disease, type of surgery, age and general health of the patient. 

In general, most patients return to normal life within 6–12  months after surgery.

Benefits of Plantar Fascia Release at Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic

Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic provides a number of benefits for plantar fascia repair due to the high qualifications of our leading specialist, Alex Yanovskiy, MD, a podiatrist and surgeon listed in the 2022 Top Podiatrists in the United States. 

Achieving the best possible results helps us:

  • development of individualized treatment plans for each patient; 
  • the use of modern diagnostic and treatment methods, including surgical procedures, to ensure effective recovery;  
  • a team of specialized doctors and physiotherapists to provide a full range of medical care. 

Choosing Illinois Foot & Ankle Clinic for plantar fascia repair can provide you with a high level of medical care, effective treatment, and comfort during the recovery process. Don't delay treatment, call us at (847) 925–7244 and we can help you get out of pain.

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1400 East Golf Rd, Unit 201, Des Plaines, IL 60016

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