Plantar Fasciitis

Approximately 1 in 10 people are expected to develop heel pain in their lifetime.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of inferior heel pain, accounting for 80% cases1. The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes, supporting the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and is painful at its attachment to the heel bone. In many cases, the symptoms of plantar fasciitis will go away within 10 months2. For those patients who do not see a relief of symptoms, they may seek more aggressive treatment in hopes of alleviating their pain.

Common Causes

Factors such as advanced age, abnormal foot posture, a high BMI and tight Achilles tendon make an individual more susceptible to developing Plantar Fasciitis. Certain activities may also increase the risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis, these include poor footwear, type and intensity of physical activity and traumas2. Athletes who frequently perform running and jumping activities are at a higher risk of developing plantar heel pain1.

Conservative Treatments

The first recommended treatment for plantar heel pain is often home stretching in conjunction with NSAIDs (i.e. Aspirin, Ibuprofen). Corticosteroid injections and botulinum toxin A (Botox) are also commonly used to treat plantar fasciitis heel pain. Heel pads, foot orthoses and shoe modifications are also frequently used as well to help decrease heel pain.

Our Treatment Options

After a minimum of 6 months of conservative treatment, if no improvement is noted other treatment methods should be considered. At The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, we offer additional treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis including Plantar Denervation and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Therapy.

Plantar Denervation can control pain by disrupting the sensory nerve supply to the plantar fascia. Both the posterior and anterior branches of the inferior calcaneal nerve provide sensory innervation to the area where the plantar fascia originates from the heel.

Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Injections use a patient’s own concentrated platelets. These cells are found in blood and contain growth factors that stimulate healing. When PRP is injected, it aids the body’s natural healing process. This technique is proven to not only relieve symptoms, but to actually create healing in patients with Plantar Fasciitis3.

References

  1. Rosenbaum A, DiPreta J, Misener D. Plantar Heel Pain. Medical Clinics Of NorthAmerica. March 1, 2014;98(Managing and Treating Common Foot and Ankle Problems):339-352.
  2. League A. Current concepts review: Plantar fasciitis. Foot & Ankle International. 2008;29(3):358-
  3. Platelet-rich Plasma Injections. Platelet-rich Plasma Injections. http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/treatments/Pages/Platelet-rich-Plasma-Injections.aspx. Published 2017. Accessed July 25, 2017.
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