Plantar fascia release surgery involves
cutting part of the
plantar fascia ligament to release tension and relieve inflammation of the
ligament (plantar fasciitis). Your doctor can use medicine
that numbs the area (local anesthetic) for the procedure. Plantar fascia
release can be done by cutting the area (open surgery) or by inserting
instruments through small incisions (endoscopic 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.
Surgery may be appropriate for only
5% of people with plantar fasciitis.1 Some foot
experts may recommend surgery more often. Generally, your doctor may recommend
Most people (over 75 out of 100)
have less pain after plantar fascia release surgery. Up to 25 out of 100 people
who have surgery continue to have pain.2
Risks of plantar fascia release include:
Endoscopic surgery should be done
by a surgeon who is specially trained in the technique and who has experience
doing the surgery. Ask how many endoscopic surgeries the surgeon has done and
how successful they were.
Complete the surgery information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this surgery.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Academy of Pediatrics (2010). Plantar fasciitis chapter of Foot
and ankle section. In JF Sarwark, ed., Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, 4th ed., pp. 839–844. Rosemont, IL: American
Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Mann JA, et al. (2006). Heel pain section of Foot and ankle surgery. In HB Skinner, ed., Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Orthopedics, 4th ed., pp. 502–504. New York: McGraw-Hill.
July 14, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
& Barry L. Scurran, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
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