Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia attaches to the calcaneus (heel bone) on the bottom of the foot and is the thick tissue that plays a part in setting the arch of the foot.
How does this happen?
The exact cause of Plantar Fasciitis is not certain.
How will we know this is your problem?
The patient frequently will have complaints of pain with the first few steps in the morning that often gets better after 10 to 15 steps. Additionally, the person will have similar symptoms after he or she sits for a period of time and gets back up again having pain for the first 10 to 15 steps. Sometimes they will have to support themselves on the furniture until the pain is relieved.
How can this be treated?
Often plantar fasciitis is a self limited condition that is treated with non-operative measures and only in severe cases is operative intervention indicated. The non-operative management consists of a multi-factorial approach. The patient is first and foremost started on stretching program and a course of anti-inflammatory. Additionally orthotics can be used to rest the plantar fascia throughout the day. This can be of the over-the-counter variety or a custom insert. Sometimes patients can be fitted with night splints but patients often do not wear these appropriately. If the protective orthotics are in place an injection maybe considered. Operative intervention may then be considered where the plantar fascia is incised and then protected while the fascia heals.
This is the Doctor You Want!
Dr. Ramon F. Rodriguez is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon. He is a native of New Orleans and a Jesuit grad. He graduated from Tulane University in 1991 and Louisiana State University School of Medicine in 2001. His orthopaedic residency was at the University of South Alabama followed by a fellowship in Foot and Ankle Surgery at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. He practiced at Ascension Orthopaedic Clinic in Gonzales, LA from 2007 to 2011. Returning to New Orleans, Dr. Rodriguez is Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedics. His specialty interests include foot and ankle surgery and sports-related foot and ankle injuries.