Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot condition that sees about 2 million people seeking treatment with an orthopedist every year. This inflammatory condition can cause heel pain that is often most severe in the morning or after a period of rest. Fortunately, the Cincinnati-area orthopedic surgeons at Beacon Orthopaedics provide effective treatment for plantar fasciitis, helping our patients get back on their feet quickly.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that affects 1 in 10 people at some point in their lives, and is especially common in athletes. The plantar fascia is a ligament that stretches from the heel to the toes. It supports the arch of the foot, absorbs shock, and bears significant weight. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, and this causes heel and foot pain.1
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Pain at the bottom of the heel and/or arch of the foot
- Pain that is more intense in the morning, after rest, or after exercise
- Swelling of the heel
- Pain that lasts for months
What Can Cause Plantar Fasciitis?
The cause of plantar fasciitis is often not identifiable. However, there are certain factors that put a person at higher risk for developing this condition:
- High arches
- Flat feet
- High-impact athletes
- Working on a hard surface
- Prolonged standing
- Tight Achilles Tendon
- Injury to the heel
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Non-Surgical Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
At Beacon Orthopaedics, we always recommend the least invasive treatment necessary to alleviate a patient’s symptoms. In the case of plantar fasciitis, non-surgical treatment includes:
- Stretching the plantar fascia and Achilles Tendon
- Low-impact exercise
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications)
- Cortisone injections
- Night splints
- Physical therapy
- Orthotic shoe inserts
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)
Surgery for Plantar Fasciitis
It is rare that we recommend surgery for plantar fasciitis, and surgery only becomes an option once a patient achieved no relief from plantar fasciitis after failed non-surgical treatment.
There are two surgical procedures that may be used to treat plantar fasciitis:
- Gastrocnemius recession: Surgical lengthening of the calf muscles. This procedure reduces stress on the plantar fascia.
- Plantar fascia release: By surgically releasing (partially cutting) the plantar fascia ligament, tension is released.2
- Release of “Baxter’s Nerve” entrapment: Usually performed in conjunction with open plantar fascia release.
Frequently Asked Questions About Plantar Fasciitis
Do heel spurs cause plantar fasciitis?
Heel spurs are associated with plantar fasciitis, but do not necessarily cause the condition. Treatment of plantar fasciitis and painful heel spurs are often the same. Surgical removal of most heel spurs is not necessary, although some very large spurs may be removed in conjunction with surgery for chronic plantar fasciitis.
What is the fastest way to cure plantar fasciitis?
Early diagnosis and treatment allows for a shorter duration of symptoms and decreased recurrence. The first line of treatment for plantar fasciitis is rest, followed by stretching.
Contact Beacon Orthopaedics
If you suffer from the painful symptoms of plantar fasciitis, our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists can help you get relief. To learn more about plantar fasciitis treatment, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our experts in Cincinnati.
1 Cleveland Clinic. Plantar Fasciitis. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14709-plantar-fasciitis. Accessed March 15, 2022.
2 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Plantar Fasciitis. Available: https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/plantar-fasciitis-and-bone-spurs/. Accessed March 15, 2022.
3 Hopkins Medicine. Plantar Fasciitis. Available: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/plantar-fasciitis. Accessed March 15, 2022.