The Truth About Heel Surgery

Surgery can be a frightening thought. No one likes to hear that an invasive procedure is necessary, especially one that could keep you off your feet for a while. Medical technology and techniques, however, have advanced significantly, making it safer than ever before. Now those highly invasive procedures with long recovery times, like traditional heel surgery, are being replaced by small-incision techniques with shorter recoveries.

Why Have Surgery?

Most conditions that cause heel pain can be addressed using conservative measures. Custom orthotics, shoe changes, stretches and exercises, and other non-invasive therapies are typically very successful in relieving discomfort in the rearfoot. Sometimes, however, your tissues may not respond to treatment. Chronic inflammation in the heel is much harder to remedy with conservative options. In some cases, if your foot is not responding to treatment, you may need heel surgery to truly relieve your pain.

The most common heel surgery procedures are a plantar fascia release and heel spur removal. Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are among the most frequent culprits for heel pain. The longer these conditions go untreated, the worse they become. After a while, chronic heel conditions may not respond to normal treatments. When conservative measures have failed to offer you relief, a more invasive operation may be your best option. By entering your foot, the experts can loosen the tightened connective tissues or eliminate the excess bone.

How Does It Work?

Our expert staff here at NorthPointe Foot & Ankle can help you determine if surgery is the best option for your unique pain and circumstances. We will thoroughly evaluate your lower limbs and the extent of your condition. We may request additional diagnostic tests or images. If it appears surgery would benefit you, we will move forward with preparations.

Contemporary heel surgery is a small, minimally invasive procedure with a much faster healing time than traditional, open-foot surgeries. For a plantar fascia release, a tiny incision is made in the heel and a camera is inserted. This allows the doctor to identify the ligament. The tissue is then partially cut on one side, releasing and lengthening it, relieving the tension on the bone.

For a heel spur removal, the extra bone is clipped away and eliminated so that it can no longer rub on and inflame the soft tissues there. Once the procedure is finished, the incision is stitched closed. After a few weeks, you should notice a difference in your rearfoot comfort.

If you’ve been struggling with heel pain for a long time and nothing has helped with the discomfort, you may need dramatic intervention. Invasive treatments address the root of your pain and work to correct it. Though the experts here at NorthPointe Foot & Ankle always use conservative measures first, they are experienced and able to help you move forward with heel surgery if you need it. Don’t suffer with chronic discomfort. Contact our Berkley, MI, office by calling (248) 545-0100 or filling out the website contact page.