Foot Surgery: Plantar Fascia Problems

Strained plantar fascia

Some heel problems can result from poor foot mechanics. If your foot moves incorrectly, your ligaments and tendons can become strained. This causes pain and swelling.

Your plantar fascia is the ligament that extends from the heel of your foot to the ball of your foot. If your foot flattens too much or too little as you move, you may strain your plantar fascia. The bottom of your foot may hurt when you stand up after resting, in the morning, or after prolonged movement. Most people with plantar fascia pain can be helped with nonsurgical treatments. But surgery can be considered if these treatments fail.

Image of strained plantar fascia

Plantar fascia release

To release your plantar fascia from tension, it can be partly cut near the heel bone. To keep you from walking on your foot, you may have to use crutches for a few weeks. As you heal, fibrous tissue fills the space between your heel bone and your plantar fascia.

Bottom view of foot showing plantar fascia partially cut near heel.

Plantar heel spur

A heel spur may form when your plantar fascia tugs on your heel bone. The heel spur can then cause painful walking. Also, a nerve may sometimes become trapped. This can also cause or increase foot pain and swelling.

Bottom view of foot showing bone spur on heel near plantar fascia.

Spur removal

Your plantar fascia may first be released. Then, if the nerve is trapped, it also can be released. If the heel spur affects your walking, it may be removed. Spur removal is rarely needed. You may need crutches for a few weeks. As you heal, fibrous tissue will grow between your heel bone and your plantar fascia.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2021
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