If you have been dealing with heel pain or symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis, head to a foot and ankle specialist in your area. They’ll conduct a physical exam and not only diagnose your condition, but figure out what’s causing it. Treating the plantar fasciitis is important, but you need to know the root cause of the problem, and if heel spurs are playing a role, they will need to be specifically targeted.
Non-Operative Treatment for Heel Spurs
Your specialist will likely begin by recommending a course of non-operative treatment. That will typically involve a combination of actions like physical therapy, targeted stretching exercises, shoewear changes, orthotic inserts to help support your foot, activity modification or splinting/bracing to help protect or support a certain area. Over time, this can help to strengthen tissues and make them less vulnerable to irritation caused by heel spurs, in turn limiting or eliminating symptoms. The vast majority of patients see their discomfort decrease or be alleviated with conservative methods, as more than 90 percent of patients with heel spurs do not need surgery.
Surgical Treatment Options for Heel Spurs
For the fewer than 10 percent who do not respond well to conservative care, a minimally invasive operation may end up being your best option. The goal of surgery is typically two-fold, with the objectives being to remove the offending heel spurs and to release the plantar fascia, which prevents tension from causing ligament tears and injury. Surgery often produces fantastic results, and the post-op recovery process will mimic the non-operative treatment options, with physical therapy, shoe modifications and stretching techniques to develop muscles and tissues in the area.
Contact a Foot & Ankle Doctor
If you’re dealing with heel pain, contact a foot doctor to get to the root of the problem. Dr. McDonald is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon with years of experience treating patients with all kinds of heel related issues.