If those treatments do not sufficiently stop your heel pain, a foot and ankle specialist can administer steroid injections. These injections help your healing process by stopping the inflammatory process.
What if non-surgical treatments do not work?
Unfortunately, in less than 10% of people with plantar fasciitis, nonsurgical treatments do not help with pain and inflammation. If this happens, your foot and ankle specialist may suggest surgical options. Surgical treatment of heel spur syndrome reduces the tension on the plantar fascia by lengthening the tissue.
- Cuts the plantar fascia close to its attachment at the heel bone.
- Stretches the tissue to create a small gap.
Over time, the gap fills with scar tissue, ultimately lengthening the plantar fascia. The surgery usually does not remove heel spurs, unless they are in a place that directly affects how you walk and stand.
After surgery, recovery time varies from patient to patient.
- Most patients need at least 6 weeks to make a full recovery.
- Patients will sometimes need casting or splinting, which will lengthen the time it takes until they are back to their normal activities.
(1) Reed Ferber and Brittany Benson, "Changes in multi-segment foot biomechanics with a heat-mouldable semi-custom foot orthotic device," Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 2011, 4:18, jfootankleres.com