What is Plantar Fascia Release Technique?

The Plantar Fascia release technique is a surgical procedure for treating severe plantar fasciitis. In this procedure, the tissue’s diseased portion responsible for the pain is removed or released. By partially cutting the part of the plantar fascia, the tension is released and lets the tendon to lengthen.

Keep reading to learn how the plantar fascia release technique can help with your condition and what you can expect from this procedure. Also, you will discover whether or not you can be a candidate to undergo this procedure.

How does plantar fascia technique work?

Are you looking for surgery to treat your plantar fasciitis? Do you want to know whether or not the plantar fascia release technique is recommended for you?

Plantar fascia refers to the thick connective tissue band that supports the foot’s arch. The plantar fascia release technique focuses on the plantar fascia ligament’s fibers.

In this procedure, a surgeon releases or removes the damaged or diseased plantar fascia tissue that feels tight and inflamed o the heel. It relieves chronic pain and promotes foot flexibility.

This surgery helps reduce pain and inflammation since the tension on the plantar fascia is finally released. The patients can resume their normal activities after a brief recovery period.

Who are the candidates for plantar fascia release technique?

The plantar fascia release technique is usually performed for the most severe plantar fasciitis. Some people who have mild plantar fasciitis can avoid surgery. They can relieve symptoms with a different non-surgical approach, such as orthotics, injections, braces, or medications.

Since this surgical procedure is not for all people suffering from plantar fasciitis, who is the plantar fascia release technique for?

A physician recommends this surgery under the conditions below:

  • You have been dealing with symptoms for 6 months or more.
  • The symptoms are already affecting the ability to participate in sports or athletic performances.
  • You cannot work due to pain and aches associated with plantar fasciitis.
  • Medicine and other approaches are ineffective, failing to relieve discomfort and chronic pain.
  • The tension on the plantar fascia ligament has already accumulated to the degeneration point, where conservative approaches become ineffective in relieving pain, and you experience more damage instead of relief.

Your surgeon may attach or detach the irritated foot tissue during the procedure. In some cases, the surgeon may also perform the surgery to remove bone spurs associated with the condition.

How should you prepare for the plantar fascia release technique?

Before you can undergo the plantar fascia release technique, the doctor ensures that you have tried non-surgical treatments, including physical therapy and stretching exercises. The doctor will also outline the potential side effects related to the surgery.

The doctor will perform a thorough injured foot examination to test the mobility, sensitivity, and nerve impairment. You have to ready yourself for possible mild irritation since the doctor may require you to replicate conditions that flare up the pain.

You may also need to provide your family history and other information related to medical issues. You must ensure that you will have an open dialogue with the doctor when gathering these pieces of information.

The doctor sometimes takes some diagnostic tests to inspect anatomic issues and other potential complications like bone spurs. If there are conflicting conditions near the affected area, your doctor may need to make some adjustments to the surgical treatment approach. 

Furthermore, the doctor will also provide you with a surgical process breakdown. For example, you will have an idea of where the doctor will perform the incision on the heel.

In the case that both your feet experience persistent plantar fasciitis pain, the doctor will develop and discuss the most suitable treatment timeline for your condition.

If both your feet have plantar fasciitis, the surgical procedure should be performed one at a time. If you notice that your foot has completely healed, it is the ideal time for the other foot to undergo surgery.

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What should you expect during the plantar fascia release technique?

The physician can perform the plantar fascia release technique either through endoscopically or open surgery.

In the endoscopic plantar fascia release technique, the doctor makes smaller incisions near the ankle on the foot’s exterior. As with the open plantar fascia release technique, the doctor makes an incision above the foot’s heel pad or on the foot’s bottom.

Below is a general overview of what you can expect from this surgical procedure:

  • The surgeon administers the anesthesia. 
  • After positioning the patient, the doctor makes a small incision on the foot’s sole to access the ligament.
  • The surgeon makes the proper incisions on the plantar fascia’s sides to release the tension on the tissue and relieve the inflammation.
  • The surgeon may need to remove the bony growth found on the ligament or detach the ligament from the heel for severe cases.
  • The surgeon may need to remove the damaged tissue close to the ligament to release the tension and prevent nerve damage by working with the abductor hallucis.
  • The surgeon can either use instruments or directly operate on the ligaments.
  • The surgeon closes the incision and places the treated foot in a cast after completing the procedure to heal.

What are the risks associated with plantar fascia release surgery?

Below are the potential risks associated with plantar fascia release surgery:

1. Nerve Complications. 

The surgeon operates on an area with plenty of nerve fibers, presenting a possibility for nerve damage that may result in weakness or numbness on the treated foot.

2. Infection

All surgical procedures present a possibility of infection, so ensure that the healed wound is properly cleaned.

3. Excessive Release

An excessive release can reduce the arch’s height and lead to an increased risk of getting foot injuries.

Conclusion 

The patient’s recovery time post-surgery is from 6 to 10 weeks. Most patients experience less pain after the surgery. It is advisable to wear a splint, brace, cast, or postoperative shoe for 2 to 3 weeks to stabilize the heel and foot.  If you do not know which brace you should choose, you can check out our top 6 picks for the best plantar fasciitis braces.

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