November 30, 2013
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Plantar Fasciitis and Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy
 
    I'm sure that by now you have heard a little bit, or maybe a lot, about Plantar Fasciitis. 
The word Plantar Fasciitis is a medical condition that causes heel pain, swelling and tenderness.
The root words help to explain the condition: 
- Plantar means the sole of the foot or the bottom part you walk on. 
- Fascia is a tough fibrous tissue that connects the bones in your foot. Specifically, the Plantar Fascia runs from your heel bone (Calcaneus) to each toe individually. 
- Itis means to have  inflammation in an area. (Pain and even a burning sensation may also occur.)
The cause of this inflammation and heel pain could be excessive tension on the Plantar Fascia!
 
    Many people who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis complain of pain first thing in the morning. Those first steps of the day are when your legs and feet are being used for the first time since you last walked, and they are stretching the Plantar Fascia and possibly creating small tears. 
 
    The Plantar Fascia pulls on the heel bone and in the presence of excessive tension, this pulling will cause irritation, inflammation of the Calcaneus. 
 
***Heel Spurs can form by the body depositing calcium onto the area where the fascia is pulling and irritating the bone!***
 
    There are many ways to treat a suspected case of Plantar Fasciitis. The conservative treatments include a medley of stretching exercises, topical treatments like applying cold packs and muscle creams, or even injections / shockwave delivery of corticosteroids! (To help the body's natural healing process.) 
 
    One treatment method that I will focus on is a surgical procedure called Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy. (EPF) This is a VERY simple procedure that can be performed by your Podiatrist and has a very high success rate in eliminating heel pain when all else has failed! 
 
    This is a minimally invasive procedure that results in only TWO stitches! Patients resume normal walking within 24 hours and only the bandages and stitches need to be worried about. (Just keep the surgical site clean and covered!)
 
    Surgery may sound like an ordeal but in reality it is a simple, safe and effective weapon in the Podiatrist's arsenal against the dreaded Heel Pain!