Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Plantar Fasciitis Surgery

If plantar fasciitis fails to improve after six months of using nonsurgical treatment methods, the doctor may recommend surgery. Plantar fasciotomy is a surgical intervention for plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciotomy is also called plantar fascia release surgery.

Plantar fasciotomy can be performed as open surgery or as an endoscopic procedure. The open surgery involves making a large incision. With the endoscopic procedure, two tiny incisions are made. One incision is for the camera that the doctor uses to view the plantar fascia. The other incision is for surgical instruments.

Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy (EPF) can be completed in a shorter time than open surgery. The surgery only takes about fifteen minutes. The endoscopic procedure has a faster recovery time and lower risk of complications. There is less postoperative pain associated with the endoscopic plantar fasciotomy. Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy has a success rate of up to ninety-five percent.

During a plantar fasciotomy, the plantar fascia is cut to relieve the tension or pressure associated with plantar fasciitis. Either a part of the plantar fascia that connects to the heel is removed or incisions are made on the sides of the plantar fascia.

Any heel spurs that have developed are often removed during a plantar fasciotomy. Heels spurs are small pieces of bone that have formed at the site of the injured plantar fascia. Doctors previously thought that the heel pain was caused by heel spurs. Now it is known that heel spurs are a symptom of plantar fasciitis. Seventy percent of people with plantar fasciitis also develop heel spurs.

A plantar fasciotomy can cause a fallen arch in the foot. This causes other foot problems. Another complication is a deep, thickened scar. The scar can be treated by deep tissue massage and physical therapy. Possible complications are numbness and infection. Numbness could be due to nerve damage sustained during the surgery. Patients should contact their doctor if they experience signs of infection such as fever, chills, or redness near the incision.

A compression bandage worn after surgery helps control swelling. The surgeon may prescribe the use of a postoperative shoe or short leg brace to protect the healing foot. The surgeon may recommend the application of ice packs. Patients can usually resume normal activities within six weeks. The patient should refrain from running or jumping for at least three months after surgery. People receiving the endoscopic fasciotomy recovery faster and can often walk without pain on the same day as the surgery.


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