Overview of Heel Pain/Plantar Fasciitis

The often referenced “pain in the neck” is insignificant in comparison with a pain in the foot. Affecting the ligaments that support the arch and connect the toes to the heel, plantar fasciitis is extraordinarily painful. The inflammation that occurs as a result of strain and ligament tears is usually the cause of the condition. Ignoring the discomfort is not an option, and finding relief from persistent pain is essential for anyone who suffers from the condition.

Understanding the Cause
A plantar fascia that is strained responds by exhibiting pain in the heel and the sole when it feels pressure. Among the contributing factors that can stain the plantar fascia are these:

• overweight
• ill-fitting shoes
• tight calf muscles
• overexertion on hard surfaces
• high arches
• tendency to roll feet inward
• flat feet
• problems with the Achilles tendon

Experiencing Symptoms
Pain is usually most noticeable with the first steps after getting out of bed or when standing after an extended period of sitting. The heel is usually stiff and sore, resembling a stone bruise that is painful under pressure. The condition may affect both feet, but it usually shows symptoms in only one foot. Either sharp or dull, pains are readily apparent, and they get worse without treatment. A burning sensation that radiates from the heel is a good indication of plantar fasciitis.

Finding Home Treatment Options
Conservative treatments for plantar fasciitis are effective if they provide relief, and surgical options are available when conservative methods fail. Resting the affected foot can reduce inflammation, but it usually does not treat ligament damage. Arch supports and stretching exercises may provide some relief, and ice packs applied for 15 minutes at three or four intervals throughout the day are sometimes effective. Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs are usually helpful in reducing pain. When home treatments fail, an injection of a corticosteroid is an interim step that may prove successful.

Choosing a Medical Procedure
Doctors may suggest using Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), a treatment that involves directing sound waves at the heel in order to stimulate it and heal the affected ligament. A noninvasive procedure, the treatment requires no incision and promotes a patient’s return to normal activities sooner than is possible with surgery. Topaz is a medical procedure that may or may not require an incision so that a doctor can direct radio frequency energy with a wand to treat the painful condition.

Podiatric Services

The field of podiatric foot and ankle surgery is devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of disease, deformity, and injury of the foot and ankle for children, adolescents, and adults. This complex area includes the toenails, skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and joints. Treatment provided by podiatrists includes both medical care and interventional and non-interventional surgery.

Our feet have a complex interrelation with the rest of the body, which means that it may be the first area to show signs of serious conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A podiatrist is often the first to detect symptoms of these disorders – becoming an important link in the health care team.

Our offices provide the full-range of podiatric care – from diagnostic testing services to nonsurgical and surgical treatment to the molding and fitting of corrective orthotics.

Arthroscopic and Endoscopic Surgery

  • Heel spur syndrome (plantar fasciitis)
  • Removal of bone spurs
  • Inflammation
  • Joint injuries

Reconstructive Bone and Joint Surgery

  • Hammer toe correction
  • Hi-arch feet
  • In-toeing and out-toeing feet
  • Joint replacement
  • Malalignment problems
  • Treatment of neuromas
  • Bone lengthening
  • Removal of bone spurs
  • Bone tumors
  • Bunions
  • Flat feet correction

Sports Medicine

  • Gait analysis
  • Overuse injuries
  • Trauma
  • Foot orthotics

Inflammatory and Degenerative Conditions

  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis

Trauma

  • Burns
  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Puncture wounds/foreign bodies
  • Tendon injuries
  • Sprains

Diabetes

  • Charcot joint reconstruction
  • Neurosensory and motor testing
  • Skin grafts
  • Ulcer care
  • Treatment of infections

Dermatologic Care

  • Benign and malignant skin lesions
  • Wart removal (traditional and laser therapy)
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Skin and toenail fungus
  • Toenail and callous care

Foot Orthotics

We also fit patients for foot orthotics for a range of conditions – such as leg length problems, bone and joint deformities, heel spur syndrome (plantar fasciitis), and diabetic foot problems.

Brachymet

Bethany,

Our office does take care of brachymet. 

As you know, brachymet is a shortened metatarsal bone located just behind the toe joints. 

From a surgical standpoint, we make a “cut” in the short metatarsal and apply an external fixator.  Over time, we make adjustments to the external fixator to slowly lengthen the metatarsal out to the desired length.  The process is called “callus distraction.”  Once we achieve the desired length, the external fixator is removed and we slowly allow you to transition to weight bearing. 

I hope this answers your question.

Dr. Griffith

Welcome to our New Blog!

We have added a blog to the website so Dr. Perez and Dr. Griffith can share tips, common problems, and the latest medical techniques for the foot and ankle. This will also enable you to share your thoughts as well. We are looking forward to your comments and questions. Stay tuned.