Chronic plantar fasciitis which does not respond to therapy, also known as recalcitrant plantar fasciitis, can be a frustrating and debilitating injury. Patients who suffer from plantar fasciitis often experience pain at the undersurface of the heel which is worse with the first few steps of the day. The vast majority of these patients respond well to first line treatments. These include stretching, night splints, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and orthotics. However, if these treatment options fail and the pain persists, other treatment modalities must be explored.
Extracorpereal shockwave therapy, also known as pulse activation therapy, is a non-invasive treatment that can help musculo-skeletal disease processes such as plantar fasciitis. The treatment involves applying a special probe to the patient’s heel which creates new vascular and connective tissue in the other. In other words, this machine helps to stimulate healing of the plantar fascia. Multiple studies with long term follow-up have shown excellent results for shockwave therapy in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Surgical management may be considered for patients with recalcitrant heel pain that fails multiple treatment options. There are many approaches to surgical management of plantar fasciitis, but each technique involves release a portion of the plantar fascia in order to reduce tension and pain to the heel. This can be done by a small incision at the in-step of the arch of the foot. It can also be done by creating a small incision in the heel and inserting a camera called and endoscope to cut the plantar fascia under direct visualization. Lastly, an incision can be made directly on the heel to release the plantar fascia and shave down any associated bone spur in the area.
The skilled physicians of Advanced Podiatry have years of experience treating plantar fasciitis and are happy to get you back on your feet without any pain! We also have two shockwave therapy machines, and our patients have had excellent results with this therapy. No one should have to suffer from long-term plantar fasciitis – call one of our offices for a heel pain consult!