Is Surgery Your Best Option for Repairing Plantar Fasciitis?

That stabbing pain you feel in your feet when you take those first few steps in the morning can be excruciating and make you want to remain snuggled up in your comforter. But that foot pain caused by your plantar fasciitis can get better, and without surgery. In fact, surgery is usually the last choice for treatment of plantar fasciitis.

Here at New Canaan Podiatry, under the leadership of Jennifer Tauber, DPM, we offer many nonsurgical treatments to improve your plantar fasciitis so you can start your day pain-free.

Oh, that stabbing pain

Before we get into the specifics about treatment for your plantar fasciitis, we think it’s important for you to know the underlying cause of your stabbing foot pain. The plantar fascia is a thick, flexible tissue that connects your heel to your toes. The bow string-like tissue acts as a shock absorber for every step you take.

While the plantar fascia is flexible, too much pressure on the tissue can cause tears, inflammation, and pain, resulting in plantar fasciitis. Due to the constant pounding and intense pressure, runners are especially vulnerable to developing plantar fasciitis. You may also be at risk if you’re overweight or obese or your job requires you to spend a lot of time on your feet.

Stabbing pain in your heel when you first get up in the morning or after you’ve been sitting for a long time is the most common symptom of plantar fasciitis. And, while running is a common cause of the heel pain, you won’t feel any discomfort during your workout, only when you’re done.

All you need is time

In most cases, your plantar fasciitis heals on its own with time. To ease your pain while the tissue heals, we recommend an anti-inflammatory, ice, and rest. We also provide you with stretches you can do at home and educate you on the types of shoes you should wear for better support. We may also recommend orthotics.

If you continue to experience pain, we may give you a cortisone injection to help reduce inflammation and discomfort to improve your quality of life. If needed, we may also refer you to physical therapy for a more intensive stretching and exercise program.

Recovery from plantar fasciitis isn’t a quick process. It can take several months for the tears in your plantar fascia to heal.

Treatments to speed up the healing

We know you have a busy life and waiting for your plantar fasciitis to heal can feel like torture when it’s keeping you from the things you enjoy. Here at New Canaan Podiatry, we may recommend additional treatments to speed up the healing process if rest, anti-inflammatories, and stretching just aren’t cutting it. We want you to get back to your everyday activities without pain and without surgery.

Nonsurgical treatments for plantar fasciitis include:

Shock wave therapy

With shock wave therapy, we use sound waves to accelerate the healing process. This technique increases blood flow to your foot to help improve nutrient delivery for faster repair of the injured tissue.

Multiwave locked system (MLS) therapeutic laser

The MLS therapeutic laser is an advanced system that delivers dual wavelengths of energy to your injured tissue to initiate a metabolic reaction in your cells that stimulates the regeneration of new, healthy cells. Like shock wave therapy, the laser energy also increases circulation to your inflamed tissue to further accelerate the healing process.

Only when these conservative treatments fail to relieve your pain do we turn to surgery for your plantar fasciitis, and only in chronic cases. During the surgical procedure, the plantar fascia is removed from your heel bone.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. When it comes to relieving the pain, surgery isn’t the best option.

For expert care of your plantar fasciitis, call Dr. Tauber at New Canaan Podiatry today or book an appointment online.

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