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Plantar Fasciitis Surgery – Everything You Need to Know

By Camilla Moore October 22, 2022 Health and Fitness

If you are one of the many people suffering from plantar fasciitis, you may consider surgery as an option to relieve your pain.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia is a tissue band connecting the heel bone to the toes.

When this tissue becomes inflamed or irritated, it can cause much pain. In some cases, surgery may be the best option to relieve your symptoms.

What Are Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis typically responds to conservative care, although healing can take a long time. There are several treatment options available for plantar fasciitis. These include:

Who Is a Candidate for Plantar Fasciitis Surgery?

Plantar fasciitis surgery is typically reserved for patients with severe pain who have not responded to conservative care. However, surgery may be recommended in some cases if you have a tear in the plantar fascia causing severe pain.

Surgery is also an option for patients with a severe case of plantar fasciitis and significant heel pain impacting their quality of life. Plantar fascia surgery can be performed as an endoscopic plantar fasciotomy or an open plantar fascia release. However, traditional open surgery carries a higher risk of complications.

What Happens During Plantar Fasciitis Release Surgery?

Plantar fasciitis surgery involves releasing or cutting the plantar fascia ligament to relieve foot pain and chronic heel pain. The surgeon will make an incision in the heel and then release the plantar fascia from the heel bone. In recurring heel pain, a heel spur at the heel pad may need to be removed to help relieve pain.

After the surgery, you will likely need to wear a boot or cast for a few weeks. Physical therapy is also often recommended after surgery. A physical therapist will help relieve inflammation, improve foot mobility, and relieve tension at the arch.

How to Prepare for Plantar Fascia Release Surgery?

If you and your surgeon have decided that surgery is the best option for you, there are a few things you can do to prepare.

First, it is essential to continue with conservative care until the day of surgery. This means resting, icing, and stretching the foot. It would help if you also avoid activities that make your pain worse.

Second, you will need someone to drive you home after the surgery. The anesthesia can make it unsafe for you to drive.

Third, you should arrange for someone to help you at home for the first few days after surgery. You will likely be on crutches and need help with activities like bathing and cooking.

Fourth, it would help if you stocked up on supplies like bandages, ice packs, and pain medication.

Finally, you should follow your surgeon’s instructions on how to prepare for surgery. This may include stopping certain medications or eating a specific diet.


Most people take four to six weeks to recover from plantar fasciitis surgery.

During the first few days after surgery, you will likely need to stay off your feet and elevate your leg. You will also likely need to wear a boot or cast.

After the first week, you may be able to put weight on your foot and start physical therapy, where the focus will be on strengthening and rehabilitating the foot and ankle.

Following your surgeon’s instructions during recovery is essential to reduce the risk of complications.

Risk of Complications

Like with any surgery, there are some risks associated with plantar fasciitis surgery. These risks include:


There is always a risk of infection with surgical procedures. The trouble is most serious immediately after surgery, but it can occur anytime in the weeks or months following the operation.

To minimize the risk of infection, promptly follow your surgeon’s instructions for wound care and promptly report any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or drainage.

With proper care, most people heal without complications from plantar fasciitis surgery.


Another common risk is bleeding. Because the surgery involves cutting through tissue and bone, there is a risk of excessive bleeding. This bleeding can sometimes lead to complications such as blood clots or infections.

To minimize the risk of bleeding, your surgeon will use special techniques and may prescribe medication before and after surgery.

Proper care and precautions can minimize the risk of excessive bleeding during plantar fasciitis surgery.

Nerve Injury or Nerve Entrapment

Nerve entrapment, or the compression of a nerve by surrounding tissue, is a risk associated with any surgery. The plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, is located close to several nerves.

During surgery, these nerves can be easily damaged. Nerve entrapment can cause various symptoms, including pain, numbness, and tingling. In severe cases, it can lead to paralysis.

If you are considering plantar fasciitis surgery, discussing the risks with your doctor is essential.

While the chances of developing nerve entrapment are relatively low, they are still worth considering.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a significant risk factor for plantar fasciitis surgery. While plantar fasciitis surgery is often successful in alleviating pain, there is a risk of chronic pain.

Chronic pain can happen due to repetitive stress on the foot, such as from standing or walking for long periods.


Plantar fasciitis surgery is a procedure that can help relieve pain and improve function in people who have the condition. The surgery involves cutting through tissue and bone, which may lead to complications such as infection, bleeding, nerve entrapment, or chronic pain. However, surgery can provide welcome relief for those suffering from chronic and severe plantar fasciitis pain.

Talk to your doctor to see if you are a candidate, and research to find a good surgeon for your care.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you experienced plantar fasciitis pain, and did you have surgery? What advice would you provide for those considering plantar fasciitis surgery?

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor to get specific medical advice for your situation.

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After suffering for almost 3 years, and having every non-surgical treatment available, I finally had an open plantar fascia release and tarsal tendon release in November, 2019. The recovery was a bit rough – in a cast for 2 weeks and on a scoter and then a boot and crutches for 4 more. HOWEVER, by the middle of January, 2020, I was able to walk comfortably with no pain. I am SO glad I finally had the surgery.


Do everything to not have the surgery! I was a nurse and assisted in many and very rarely was the outcome great…so I could not do it anymore. I then got a very bad case, and used 2 4 treatment rounds of a ultrasonic/hammer treatment over 4 months…..better now! I NEVER let my bare feet touch ground without orthotic footwear. Hope this helps


Thank you for truthful article. I’m still delaying surgery for as long as possible. The complications scare me too much. Thanks again for timely article I have had 3 cortoizone shots. Marie Streit


Years ago I suffered greatly from Plantar Fasciitis. I was almost to the point where I couldn’t walk. Beautiful shoes became a thing of the past. I couldn’t manipulate stairs. Thankfully I had a doctor who always took a more natural approach to everything. She game me exercises to do. It’s been 20 plus years and I have never had a flair up again.

The first exercise was to simply sit comfortable on a chair. Extend my leg and with my foot slightly pointed as though my toe was a pencil, draw the alphabet from A to Z. Repeat with the other foot or ever do both feet together. This stretch ever muscle in the foot and will releave the pain. I still do it today, years after my troubles.

The other exercise was to sit comfortable on a chair and drop a facecloth on floor. Simply, pick it up with my toes. It also helped immensely.

Last of all, for a soothing massage, fill a foot size bucket or container with warm water. Fill the bottom with marbles and roll your foot around on the marbles. The warm water will help to loosen things up and the marbles give a deep massage to the whole foot.

Please try these exercises before you opt for surgery. I have told other about these exercise and it has worked for them

Good luck!


My plantar fasciitis was successfully treated with Ossatron. After the procedure I was able to walk out instead of hobbling!

The Author

Dr. Camilla Moore is a Lifestyle Medicine Chiropractor and a freelance medical and health writer. She is a self-published author and you can read her other articles at her blog, The Wellness Cabinet where she writes about exercise, fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness.

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