How To Address Complications Of Plantar Fascia Release

Michelle Butterworth, DPM, FACFAS

Can ESWT Be An Alternative To Plantar Fasciotomy?

Although plantar fasciotomy can be a successful technique with few complications, extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a non-invasive alternative for the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis and research has shown good results.30,31

   Surgeons should be aware of this technique and familiarize themselves with the risks and benefits in comparison to a plantar fasciotomy.

In Summary

Plantar fasciotomy can be a successful technique for recalcitrant heel pain. Few complications have been reported and typically resolve with conservative therapies. Most complications are due to temporary instability in the foot from altered biomechanics resulting from the release of the plantar fascia.

   Proper patient selection, accurate diagnosis and good surgical technique can minimize complications, and result in a high rate of patient satisfaction. For persistent pain, revisional surgery may be needed and the patient may need to make lifestyle changes including possible weight loss, change in athletic routines, or even changes in employment.

   Dr. Butterworth is a Fellow and is on the Board of Directors as Treasurer/Secretary of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. She is in private practice in Kingstree, S.C.

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