Plantar Fasciitis Surgery Success Rate and Recovery Time

Have you been advised surgery for flat feet by local podiatrist? Or is it that you are thinking of plantar fasciitis surgery as the last resort for pain relief because nothing else worked? Whatever your reason, here is the complete information and little known facts about surgery as an option for plantar fasciitis treatment, in simple English.

Plantar Fasciitis Surgery for Heel pain Recovery Time and Success Rate

Plantar Fasciitis Surgery - Surprising Facts and Myths

I am not going to give you the origin or history and geography about the surgery for two reasons. One, I don't want to bore you and two, I don't care about it's history. I don't think you do either.

I can relate with how you feel and exactly what you are looking for because I have been there, done that. When I was in the same shoes, all I cared at this point was to get rid of this agony called plantar fasciitis, once and forever.

The purpose of this article is to give you relevant information so that you can take decision about surgery after you get clear answers to your questions.


When Should Plantar Fasciits Surgery be Undertaken ?

That is the first question you should ask. At the peak of my plantar fasciitis suffering, I had to suffer with two problems - plantar fasciitis pain and information overload (internet).

When is good time for heel pain surgery?

You find too much of information about everything on internet these days, including flat feet surgery. But how much of that scattered information give clear answers to our straight questions?

Plantar Fasciitis surgery is your last resort to heel pain treatment. It should be done after you have tried conventional treatments. I was surprised to find the number of people suffering from heel pain believed surgery was the only way to treat plantar fasciitis. That is a myth I want to bury.

Surgery should be done not before 6 months have been given to conventional treatment methods like stretching exercise plan, orthotic support like specialized shoes, compression socks, shoe inserts, night splints, or even cortisone shots.

It has been confirmed by research study that we must treat plantar fasciitis using conventional methods for at least 6 months before thinking of operating the heel. The research study was conducted by Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY and concluded that:

...After 6 months of failed conservative treatments, surgical intervention should be considered...

After many doctor consultations and hundreds of patient feedbacks, I have found that it's best to try conventional treatment for at least 12 months before trying surgery. If you are confused, it pays to start simple and easy using these effective stretching exercises as part of a well laid out plan.


Plantar Fasciitis Surgery Success Rate

So what are the odds for success of surgery (medical term: EPF or Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy) ? The surgery is no silver bullet for heel pain relief. The success of surgery is not guaranteed.

According to comprehensive research studies, the plantar fasciitis surgery success rate average is 85%. The actual percentage varies in different circumstances but that's pretty much the average success rate. The research was lead by Dr. Daniel Hake of Ochsner Clinic Department of Orthopedics, Louisiana which concluded that:

... an overall 87% success rate has been reported in 1228 procedures, in addition to an 83% success rate reported by Burke at the Northwest Podiatric Foundation Surgical Seminar in January 2000 ...


Risks after Surgery

The foot surgery comes with it's own set of risks. The surgery involves cutting of the fascia tissue at the heel of foot.

Risks of surgery

According to American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS), the surgery exposes us to the risks:

  • surgery may cause nerve damage
  • any deformity in shape of the foot is of permanent nature
  • it may end up as flat feet
  • the failure or partial success of surgery may result in pain coming back at severity level
  • permanent heel numbness
  • it may not be feasible for sports persons or athletes to remain active after surgery


Cost of Surgical Treatment

The surgery for heel pain doesn't come cheap. How much you actually spend depends upon many factors like your insurance cover, your address, surgeon's fees, specific services availed and follow up costs.

plantar fasciitis surgery pictures

Typically, a surgery may cost you a total amount of $10,000 including essential follow-up costs.


Recovery Time After Surgery

Surgery to treat plantar fasciitis does not require patients to be admitted to hospital overnight. You are free to go home on the same day. You will be placed under weight bearing restrictions for 2-4 weeks to allow for the healing. Most physicians will advise night splints or some other type of support like a boot or CAM walker like this one.

Flat feet heel pain surgery recovery time

Recovery time after surgery depends upon type of surgery. There are two types of surgery as mentioned below. Recovery after open surgery is faster, typically 2-3 weeks when weight bearing restrictions are off. You are allowed to resume normal weight bearing thereafter.

Endoscopic surgery does allow some kind weight bearing almost immediately though normal weight bearing is still restricted for 2-4 weeks.

In case of all heel pain surgeries, intensive activities like running or jumping are strictly not allowed for at least 3 months.


Plantar Fascia Release Surgery Types

To keep things simple, there are two types of plantar fasciitis surgery. The purpose of both types of surgery is releasing the tension which caused the inflammation of the ligament called plantar fascia.

  1. The first type is good old "open" surgery to cut a part of inflamed tissue so that the tension is released. This surgery does not require any incision to be made.
  2. The second type of heel pain surgery is called endoscopic plantar fascia release which releases the tension in affected tissue by a small incision just below the ankle bone. The incision can be done from either side of the foot.


How I felt Before My Surgery

I wish I could somehow avoid my surgery which eventually I had to take, as nothing else worked. That's a different matter even surgery couldn't help me.

flat feet surgery for heel pain

By this time, I have known hundreds of people who would go under the knife for pain relief before trying other easier and inexpensive plantar fasciitis treatments. I am not surprised because my thinking was no different when I was too, groping in the dark.

How to Get Rid of Heel Pain Without Plantar Fasciitis Surgery

I don't think anybody likes heel pain surgery. There are enough reasons (facts mentioned throughout this article) to avoid this surgery.

Surgery is not guaranteed to work always, there are risks involved and it's definitely is not cheapest option. People go for surgery when they are either convinced by themselves or doctor advises them to.

We are aware that more than 90% of plantar fasciitis cases can be solved using non-surgical treatment methods. If we carefully follow a simple plan using natural treatment, we can get rid of heel pain. Read on.

Here's the Holy Grail of Plantar Fasciitis Treatment that Works for All

It's too simple for most people to look at it, which means most people overlook this plan for it's simplicity. Well, I did. To draw your specific treatment plan, think about this - there are two categories of plantar fasciitis causes.

One set of causes is lifestyle related cause for example a job that requires long hours of standing or a routine with physically intensive activities like running/jumping, etc. The other set of causes are medical causes which cause heel pain e.g. obesity, arthritis, diabetes or neurological disorders.

Exercises for plantar fasciitis heel pain flat feet

The holy grail or "masterplan" has two parallel activities:

  1. Attack the specific lifestyle related cause of your heel pain
  2. start (or change if not effective) treatment of your long term medical condition e.g obesity or diabetes etc.

How to Implement this plan:

To deal with lifestyle related causes, start with these 7 most effective plantar fasciitis exercises and stretches. Based on my interactions with hundreds of people affected by plantar fasciitis, exercises are no. 1 solution for pain relief if done properly.

Now turning to medical conditions like obesity, diabetes, certain Arthritic problems etc you need to seriously tackle this part with expert medical advice. Dealing with these medical conditions is not subject of this article.

What I can point you towards is feedback from fellow sufferers from heel pain who have used many of the popular and authentic treatment plans available on the internet for obesity, diabetes and arthritis.

Heel pain is result of a common pattern in lifestyle (like extra strain on foot) so some of these medical treatment methodologies do work very favorably among plantar fasciitis patients.

I do not have enough number of feedbacks for neurological problems and other conditions like arthritic disorders so I have nothing to add for those conditions except reiterating that you must seek medical advice.

Before I mention any specific treatment plan for medical conditions, please note that I have not personally used any of these (as I don't suffer with these disorders). What I am pointing you towards are most successful programs that worked for people with heel pain, according to feedback I received from them.

For obesity, this sensible book has been effective in reducing body weight within reasonable amount of time, among people with plantar fasciitis. You can download your complimentary free copy of the ebook here.

For diabetes, I have received feedback from 70 - 80 people suffering from plantar fasciitis vouching for the diabetes treatment program that doesn't require pills or insulin injections. This is the diabetes program they were talking about.


Conclusion

If you got the gist of this article, all expert medical opinion and facts indicate that surgery is not guaranteed, risk free or cheapest treatment for heel pain or flat feet. I see no logical reason why anyone would not sincerely try regular methods long enough before contemplating plantar fascia release surgery.

The solution I have given above, to get rid of heel pain without surgery is only common sense, more practical and effective solution. I would call this solution healthier than surgery because not only does it not disturb the internal stuff (blood vessels, nerves and tissues), it also addresses the real underlying medical cause of heel pain e.g obesity, diabetes etc.

I hope this article gave you all the answers to the questions you had regarding plantar fasciitis surgery. I have taken the privilege of sharing my personal experience along-with hundreds of others who have been in the same shoes as you are now.. literally !

If you have any feedback, comment or special request you can reach me via contact form or direct email.

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