Chances Are, It’s Plantar Fasciitis
I see a lot of different conditions of the foot and ankle in my practice, but by far one of the most common is Plantar Fasciitis. Do you think you might be suffering from this condition? Well, let’s take it step by step (excuse the pun) and find out.
Before we start, you’re probably wondering what exactly Plantar Fasciitis is. You’ve no doubt heard of it, and may even think it’s sort of a funny name for a foot ailment. Without getting too technical, it’s an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes.
So, what symptoms might indicate that you’re suffering from this common condition? Most of my patients feel pain in the central heel right after standing, or even after periods of rest. Ever get out of bed and the first word you utter is, “ouch”? Well, chances are you’re experiencing a symptom of Plantar Fasciitis. For some, the pain may even spread to the arch area.
Still not sure? Well, how would you describe the pain? Is it intense, often resembling a burning sensation? Or perhaps it may feel somewhat like an electric shock, which would be due to an inflammation of the calcaneal nerve. If you’ve answered yes, then once again, chances are we’re dealing with Plantar Fasciitis.
So, how did you develop this condition? It’s usually caused by a person’s foot type, such as flat feet or high arched feet. If that’s you, then you’re very susceptible to inflammation in the plantar fascia. The culprit might also be heel trauma, but that’s not as common.
Okay, so now you’re fairly certain that the pesky pain in your foot is indeed Plantar Fasciitis. If you were my patient, we’d begin with an x-ray to rule out other causes for the pain, such as a calcaneal fracture or stress fracture. Once certain that we’re dealing with Plantar Fasciitis, I’d first opt for conservative treatment. That’s the golden rule here at DeLoor Podiatry. We therefore might begin with a steroid injection along with taping your foot to stabilize your arch and reduce inflammation in your plantar fascia ligament. We’d also make you a pair of Customized Orthotics, using laser technology, to fit your foot type and further stabilize your arch.
If, after a respectable amount of time, your pain doesn’t respond to these initial treatments, I would order an MRI to rule out a plantar fascial tear. Depending on the MRI results, I would then consider surgical options, especially if your pain isn’t responding after one or two months of conservative treatments.
I might perhaps perform surgical releasing the plantar fascial band. Or I might give you a PRP injection around the ligament site. PRP stands for Platelet-Rich Plasma, which is harvested from your own blood. In effect, this would use your natural cells and mechanics to heal the damaged area. We’re seeing great results from regenerative medicine such as this. Another option is the Tenex procedure, which I can perform to visualize and remove damaged tissue from your plantar fascia ligament by using a controlled, supersonic stream of water through a needle.
It’s important to note that all of these procedures are minimally invasive and have fairly quick recovery times. We’re in the business of putting you back on your feet in a hurry – not keeping you off of them for a significant length of time.
Reading about Plantar Fasciitis is informative, but if doesn’t relieve your pain and I know, it is indeed excruciating. If you think you might be suffering from this condition, visit us at DeLoor Podiatry, where you can say hello to our friendly staff and goodbye to Plantar Fasciitis for good!
Dr. Jeffrey Knemoller