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Plantar Fasciitis - Overview

Plantar fasciitis is the medical condition of, inflammation of the plantar fascia. The condition is generally treated conservatively and to provide the desired results, if all else fails, then the patient may need surgery. The recovery time after surgery lasts several months.

The plantar fascia (the inflamed part of the body in case of plantar fasciitis) is the band of connective tissue attached to the sole. The injury and consequent inflammation of the band is usually caused by excessive strain. Plantar fasciitis predominantly affects athletes (particularly runners), obese people, pregnant women and elderly people. Furthermore, it is common in individuals with flat feet or a high foot arch.

Plantar Fasciitis - Surgery and Recovery

Prior to surgical repair, plantar fasciitis can be successfully dealt with in many conservative ways such as rest, stretching and strengthening exercises, orthotics, arch support, night splints etc. Athletes generally try many of these mentioned options but they tend to opt for surgery in order to prevent recurrence of the inflammation and subsequent symptoms.

During surgery the plantar fascia is partially released from the tension,that effectively eliminates the heel pain. Furthermore, during the procedure a surgeon may remove the heel bone spur, which commonly occurs together with plantar fasciitis. Surgery for plantar fasciitis is performed under local anesthesia. The patients are discharged several hours after the surgery. The total recovery after plantar fasciitis surgery lasts around several months.

During the first month after the surgery the person must refrain from any strenuous activities and excessive movement. Rest is essential during the initial period after the surgery for proper healing of the operated area and restoration of all the functions. Additional help is obtained from plantar fasciitis shoes and an air cast. The patient is advised to use crutches when walking. The operated area must be kept dry and clean and the dressing is supposed to be changed regularly. This way infection can be successfully prevented. Return to normal activities is allowed after a month. And finally, physical therapy starts 6 weeks after the surgery. Its goal is to restore all the movements in the foot and strengthen the surrounding muscles. Even though the tissues in the foot completely heal within 3-4 weeks, the entire recovery after plantar fasciitis requires several months, especially in elderly patients.

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