Plantar Fascia Release surgery involves cutting part of the plantar fascia ligament to release tension and relieve inflammation of the ligament (plantar fasciitis). Plantar fascia release can be done by cutting the area (open surgery) or by inserting instruments through small incisions (endoscopic surgery).
- The surgeon will make an incision on the foot above the heel pad, where the thicker skin of the sole meets the thinner skin of the back of the heel, or he or she may make an incision on the bottom of the foot. If the surgery is done endoscopically, the surgeon will make a small incision on either side of the heel below the ankle bone.
- The surgeon may detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone or make incisions on either side to release tension.
- The surgeon may remove and smooth the bone surface to allow the plantar fascia to heal under less tension. Sometimes the surgeon removes a small wedge of damaged tissue.
- The surgeon may also free the thickest part of a foot muscle (abductor hallucis) to prevent nerves from becoming trapped as a result of the surgery. If a heel spur is present, it may be removed.
What To Expect After Surgery
If you have traditional open surgery, you may wear a non-weight-bearing cast or brace, such as an equalizer brace or a CAM walker (which resembles a long ski boot), for 2 to 3 weeks after surgery to allow tissues to heal
If you have endoscopic surgery, you can begin limited weight-bearing immediately and can begin wearing normal shoes again as soon as it is comfortable. Most people return to their normal activities in 3 to 6 weeks.
You will begin a gradual strengthening and flexibility program after surgery. Running or jumping is restricted for at least 3 months after surgery.
Why It Is Done
Surgery may be appropriate for only 5% of people with plantar fasciitis. Some foot experts may recommend surgery more often. Generally, your doctor may recommend surgery if:
- You continue to have severe, disabling symptoms despite careful attention to home and other nonsurgical treatment.
- You have had symptoms for at least 6 to 12 months.
- You are an athlete and symptoms are affecting your performance or ability to take part in a reasonable athletic program.
- Your ability to work is limited despite nonsurgical treatment.