Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Should I Have Surgery For Plantar Fasciitis?

Friday, 16 July 2010 11:15 AM

Question: I am a 60-year-old moderately overweight female with plantar fasciitis. I've had this condition for 10 months. What is your opinion about the effectiveness of instep plantar fasciiotomy? I've read all the online information I can find, and results seem fairly positive. On the other hand, surgery is a scary option since it is permanent.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

I regard surgery for plantar fasciitis as an example of exchanging one problem for another. True plantar fasciitis will resolve spontaneously once the stimulus for the fasciitis (an inflammation of deep supporting tissue) has been corrected or removed. Usually conservative management is recommended, and local injection of corticosteroid medication often helps relieve discomfort. Surgery is an extreme measure, and I would regard this as an unusual procedure. Is your MRI normal? Ask your doctor whether you may have a stress fracture, as these are notorious for being difficult to detect, often have extended discomfort, but all will resolve given sufficient conservative treatment. I suggest you seek an orthopedic surgery consultation.

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