What are the possible complications of plantar heel pain?

Updated: Oct 01, 2018
  • Author: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Thomas C Dowd, MD  more...
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Answer

Of patients with plantar fasciitis, 90% respond favorably to conservative care. Conservative methods should be tried for at least 6 months (preferably 12 months) before surgery is considered. Furthermore, patients should be fully counseled regarding the risks and benefits because complete satisfaction after surgery is observed in only 50% of patients.

For nonsurgical treatment, depot steroid injections can provide good short-term relief of symptoms; however, multiple injections can cause the plantar fascia to rupture and the fat pad to atrophy, especially if the injection is not administered deep into the fascia. [49, 50, 51]

Regardless of whether an open or endoscopic method is used for surgical correction, only 50% of the plantar fascia should be released, because a complete release can lead to collapse of the medial and lateral longitudinal arches.

Endoscopic plantar fascia release can be associated with a higher incidence of nerve damage and painful and hypersensitive neuroma. [52, 53]


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