Plantar Fasciitis2020-09-18T09:30:02+01:00

Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar Fasciitis

Foot & Ankle Surgeon

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition caused by chronic inflammation to the plantar fascia, caused by repetitive small tears that do not completely heal after each injury. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of tissue connecting the heel to the ball of the foot and plays a vital role in supporting the arch of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis can affect anyone. It is though commoner in people who spend all day on their feet, are overweight or have altered foot biomechanics (e.g. high arched feet or flat feet). Most people with plantar fasciitis have a tight Achilles tendon, which increases the stresses on the plantar fascia.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

The main symptoms of plantar fasciitis is pain in the heel and can spread into the arch of the foot. The pain can be described as sharp, burning or aching. The pain is usually worst whilst taking the first few steps in the morning or after prolonged sitting. Once walking around the plantar fascia loosens and the pain usually improves or subsides. Symptoms though often return after a day of standing, walking for a long time or running.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

Plantar fasciitis is a self-limiting condition, which means it will generally resolve by itself. The average duration of the condition is around 18 months, but some people can have it for much longer. Listed below are some of the main first line treatments for plantar fasciitis but it is not exhaustive.

Appropriate footwear is recommended which is supportive, fits well and has cushioned heel pad. High heeled shoes may lead to tightening of the Achilles tendon, which can aggravate symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Orthoses (medical insoles) can be useful to improve the foot position and reduce the forces transmitted through the plantar fascia whilst walking. You can be referred to the Orthotist for a specialist opinion.

Simple painkillers such as paracetamol, anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. ibuprofen) or anti-inflammatory gels can be beneficial. Ask advice from your doctor or pharmacist before taking anti-inflammatory medicines as they can have side-effects in some people.

Weight-loss is an important part of the treatment plan, if you are overweight. It might be discussed as a part of your consultation. If required your general practitioner will be able to refer you onto a weight loss programme.

Activity modification aims to reduce activities that cause symptoms of plantar fasciitis. A reduction in impact activities, such as running, may be required for a specified period of time.

Stretching exercises to the calf muscles and plantar fascia is a very effective for many patients and form the mainstay of treatment to promote long term resolution of plantar fasciitis. It is important the stretching exercises are undertaken regularly. You can be referred to the physiotherapist for specialist input.

The majority (80 – 95%) of people’s symptoms will settle with time and these simple measures. It is important to be patient and stick to the treatment programme. If the pain continues further specialist treatment may be required, which includes:

Night splint to apply a constant stretch to the Achilles tendon whilst asleep. If the splints are not tolerated well at night, they can also be worn for periods of 15-30 minutes at a time, several times a day, to have a similar effect.

Steroid injection into the attachment of the plantar fascia into the heel can reduce the inflammation. The injection itself is often painful and post-injection pain may last for several days. Commonly symptoms do return after a month following the injection. Rarely a steroid injection can cause fat pad atrophy or plantar fascia rupture.

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is offered to patients who have not responded well to other treatments. It is a procedure that passes shockwaves through the skin to the plantar fascia. The shockwaves are low energy sound waves (not electric waves) that increase the blood flow to speed up the body’s healing process.

Can you treat plantar fasciitis with surgery?

Surgery would only be considered an option as a last resort after non-surgical treatments have failed, and would depend on the extent of your condition and medical co-morbidities.

Special note

Heel pain can be caused by other conditions such as arthritis or may even be referred from your back. It may be necessary to refer you to another health practitioner if the condition doesn’t resolve or if another cause to your heel pain is suspected.

Wellbeing Advice

Patients that have a healthy diet, take regular exercise and refrain from smoking are more likely to experience a quicker recovery with a more successful outcome from their surgery.

If you have any concerns about your general health and well-being (diet, exercise, smoking cessation) you are encouraged to discuss this with your GP, who will be able to provide advice on the options available to you.

We hope this leaflet has answered any questions you might have. If you have any further queries, please feel free to discuss them with any of the medical or nursing staff.

01908 382353
admin@mercuryfootandankle.clinic

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Our aim is to help eliminate your pain and allow you to get back to the things you want to do, as quickly as possible. Experienced in the latest advances in surgery and rehabilitation, we want to get you back on your feet and help them last a lifetime.

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Meet Our Team

Mercury Foot & Ankle Surgeon Intro Video
Mr Arul Ramasamy

Consultant Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon
PhD, FRCS(Tr&Orth), DipSportsMed, MFSEM, MA(Cantab)

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Mercury Foot & Ankle Surgeon Intro Video
Mr Joel Humphrey

Consultant Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Surgeon
BSc(Hons), MBBS, MSc(SportsMed), FRCS(Tr&Orth)

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Testimonials

Foot & Ankle Surgeon

My condition had deteriorated to the point that I was unable to walk for extended periods of time without pain and swelling of the ankle, and I would rarely be able to join in most family activities. The support and guidance provided by Mr Ramasamy were exemplary and enabled me to make a fully informed decision regarding the options available to me. Now, the pain is much more manageable and the stability that the treatment has provided is such that I feel that I regained a significant part of my life and as such my confidence.

Private Client

I found Mr Ramasamy extremely professional and reassuring. On the day of my procedure I received the most efficient, organised and professional care in my life. Your nurses were the best I have ever experienced. Mr Ramasamy’s team, in theatre made me feel at ease and made the whole procedure more bearable. They go way beyond the extra mile for their patients.

Private Client

I wanted to share my excellent experiences and compliment Mr Ramasamy and his team. I found him extremely professional and reassured that he understood how much pain I was in. On the day of my procedure, it was the most efficient, organized and professional care I have ever received – from checking into reception to being allocated a bay and taken into theatre – your nurses in the recovery area were the best I have ever received. Mr Ramasay’s team, especially in theatre, made me feel at ease, kept me informed throughout the whole procedure and made the whole procedure more bearable.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Foot & Ankle Surgeon
What is the process if I am paying for my own treatment?2020-08-27T13:58:16+01:00

After your appointment you will be emailed an invoice to be paid within 30 days via a bank transfer.

Will my insurance cover me?2020-06-28T13:37:20+01:00

Our practice is covered by the major healthcare insurance providers. If you have private medical insurance, please contact your insurer to confirm that you are covered for your consultation and imaging appointments and whether you will need a GP referral. Please do this prior to seeing your Consultant. Your insurance company will provide you with an authorisation code which we will need when booking your appointment, along with your policy or membership details. All of this information can be obtained from your insurance company.

Depending on your specific insurance policy you may liable for some of the costs and there may be certain outpatient treatments such as joint injections and blood tests that may not be fully covered by your insurance policy. Please note, even if you are privately insured, you are entirely responsible for all of your consultants’ fees and that the contract you undertake is with your consultant and not your insurance company.

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How much does it cost?2020-08-27T13:59:05+01:00

In most cases, your outpatient costs should be covered by your insurance company, but please check as this can vary depending on your individual insurance and excess policy. If you are a self-pay, new appointments are £200 and follow up appointments are £150.

Do I need a new or follow-up appointment?2020-06-23T15:52:11+01:00

If you have not seen the Consultant previously for this problem, you have a different problem or if it is more than 1 year since your last appointment then please book a new appointment.

Do I need a referral letter?2020-08-03T11:12:11+01:00

If you are claiming through your health insurance, they may require a referral from your GP or therapist before authorising your consultation and treatment. If you are unsure then please call 01908 382 353 or email us on admin@mercuryfootandankle.clinic and one our team will be able to assist you. If you are paying for treatment yourself then you do not need a referral letter.

How do I make an appointment?2020-08-03T11:12:20+01:00

To arrange an appointment with one of our Consultants, please call 01908 382 353 or email us on admin@mercuryfootandankle.clinic

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