What is Plantar Fascia Release?
Plantar Fascia Release is a surgical procedure that is designed to relieve the tension on the plantar fascia by “releasing” it from the heel bone. The procedure may also involve the removal of the damaged portion of the plantar tissue. There is also something called a “Partial Release” procedure, where the plantar is cut on either side of the heel bone to help relieve tension.
Plantar Fascia Release is only recommended for people whose Plantar Fasciitis has not improved with conservative treatment methods. If your Plantar Fasciitis is causing you severe pain and has persisted for over 6 months, even with conservative treatment, ask your doctor if Plantar Fascia Release is an option.
Endoscopic Release vs. Open Release
In endoscopic release, the surgeon will make several small incisions in your foot. A tube with a tiny camera at the end will be inserted into one of the incisions so the surgeon can see your plantar. Small surgical tools will be inserted into the other incisions so the plantar can be released.
In open release, a much larger incision is made, essentially “opening” up the bottom of your foot so the plantar fascia is exposed. This procedure does not require the use of a camera.
While endoscopic release is much less invasive than open release, endoscopic release is more difficult to perform. Also, there is a higher risk of nerve damage with endoscopic release.
If you have a bone spur, this will also be removed during surgery.
Possible complications of Plantar Fascia Release include:
- Blood clots
- Damage to nerves and/or blood vessels
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
Following surgery there will be a limit to how much weight you can bear on your foot. If you had open surgery, you may have to wear a cast or boot for several weeks. If you had endoscopic surgery, you may want to consider using crutches. Your doctor may also prescribe you some painkillers to help you manage the pain following your surgery.
You will spend a lot of time resting your foot for the first few weeks following the procedure. You may want to use a cold compression wrap to help reduce pain and swelling. Elevating your foot above your heart will bring down your inflammation.
In regards to physical activity, you will gradually increase the amount of time you spend on your foot as you heal. Your doctor should give you some exercises to do at home to speed up the recovery process. Your doctor may also recommend that you see a physiotherapist to help restore strength and flexibility to your foot.