Plantars Fasciitis Surgery Pros and Cons

What You Should Know So You Can Make An Informed Decision


Having a sore foot is never a good experience, and if you have figured out that what you have is plantar fasciitis or have already gotten a diagnosis from your doctor, you’re probably looking into what the plantars fasciitis surgery pros and cons are so that you can start getting your foot back to feeling normal as soon as possible.

Some cases of plantar fasciitis have shown that the condition is a result along the lines of degenerative causes more than actually being inflammatory changes. In cases like these the condition is called plantar fasciosis. Because there aren’t any blood vessels in your foot’s tendons and ligaments they can not actually become inflamed. Rather, an injured tendon is most likely the result of an accumulation of microscopic tears at the cellular level which have built up over a period of time.

plantars fasciitis surgery pros and consOccasionally a heel spur could also be found along with this condition, but it is the plantar fasciitis that is causing the heel pain, not the spur, and the plantar fasciitis is also responsible for causing the heel spur, not the other way around.

Surgical procedures that have been used traditionally should always be considered as a last resort, because they can often lead to added complications.

Releasing the plantar fascia is a common procedure that’s performed with the purpose being to allow decompression of the nearby inflamed FDB muscle belly. Theoretically this should create more space and in turn should alleviate the pain, but quite often does more harm than good.


A minimally invasive surgical procedure for plantar fasciitis is using an ultrasound-guided needle fasciotomy, during which a needle is inserted into your plantar fascia and then moved back and forwards to loosen up the fibrous tissue.

The Topaz procedure, also called Coblation surgery, is a method that uses radio frequency ablation to treat recalcitrant plantar fasciitis. It is also minimally invasive and has been used successfully.

Another procedure, extra-corporeal shock-wave therapy (ESWT), which means using acoustic shock waves, has received mixed reviews as to it’s effectiveness. One side found evidence of the treatment to be effective if used consistently for several months and could be potentially considered as a possible alternative to surgery, while yet another report says that there is no evidence that this procedure has any positive effect at all. So, you may find a doctor who will try this method before resorting to surgery, but most likely not that often because of the contradicting reports.

Surgery of any kind can certainly be a scary thing to have to face, so by weighing the pros and cons of having plantars fasciitis surgery, you’ll be able to either go into your surgery with confidence, or put it off for now because you’re still not sure if it’s right for you at this time.

As with any type of surgery, there are certain risks that you take on when you decide to go through with it, so knowing the benefits and risks before going in will help you to be able to make the best decision possible for your situation.

Plantars Fasciitis Surgery Pros and Cons:   The Pros

When it comes to plantars fasciitis surgery pros and cons, the most obvious benefit to having the procedure is that there is the possibility of completely removing the pain that you’re having from the plantar fasciitis. Surgery generally isn’t recommended right away until someone who has been suffering has tried all the available non-invasive treatments first to get rid of the pain in their heel and have not had any success.

When plantars fasciitis surgery is completed and is successful, the likelihood of another occurrence is also reduced, which is another tempting benefit to long time sufferers. Surgery is generally followed up with physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles around the damaged ligament to further prevent another occurrence.

Most of the surgical procedures are an open surgery. The heel is incised and the damaged tissue is removed, which removes the tightness and pain, in theory anyways, that the patient has been experiencing when they walk. If there are bone spurs or heel spurs involved in the diagnosis, these are also removed usually, adding to the benefits that a patient can gain from the surgery.

The recovery time from this type of surgery is also a benefit – even though it is an open surgery, many people can have this done on an outpatient basis, meaning they can go in during the morning and then be discharged based on how they feel in the afternoon. For some patients that have to undergo a more extensive surgery to remove spurs or have ligament damage repaired, and an overnight hospital stay may be required.

Plantars Fasciitis Surgery Pros and Cons:  The Cons

The down side of this type of surgery is much like the down side of any surgery. There will always be a risk of infection because of the procedure and there is always the risk of excessive bleeding also where surgery is involved.

Beyond those overall risks that are common to every surgery, with plantar fasciitis surgery there is also the risk that there could be nerve damage to the foot, the plantar fascia may rupture, the arch of your foot could become altered, possibly lowered which can cause further problems and pain, and finally that it simply doesn’t relieve the pain at all. A successful surgery generally happens only 6 out of 10 times, which is why doctors are so hesitant to recommend someone for the surgery.

Because there are the normal risks for surgery, in addition to the fact that there is only a 60% success rate at the highest estimates, unless there is absolutely no other method left to try for someone suffering from plantar fasciitis pain, a surgery will generally not be recommended. In fact, only 5 out of every 100 cases of plantar fasciitis ever actually go to surgery for the reason that it has barely a better than average success rate.


Be sure to always consult with your doctor and the surgeon who would be doing the actual procedure to find out what your unique risks might be, what benefits you could get from having the surgery, and what you can expect afterwards. Having the surgery done is definitely a big decision to make, so be sure to have all the information that you need ahead of time about your own unique situation.

Having the surgery performed might end up being the best thing you could do in order to get on with a pain free life, and you may be one of the lucky small percentage that gets positive results from the surgery. If you’ve been suffering from the pain of plantar fasciitis for at least a year or more and have tried every other treatment available and nothing yet has relieved your pain, then the surgery may be right for you.

Otherwise, the best advice is to try out the non surgical treatments first and be consistent with your efforts to beat the pain.  There are so many options and combinations of treatments that can offer you the relief you need without having to go under the knife.

Spend the time to carefully weigh your options and to consider the plantars fasciitis surgery pros and cons and how they could affect your own situation. You’ll be better able to make the right decision when armed with the right information.


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