Plantar Fasciitis Surgery (Plantar Fascia Release)

Surgery to correct Plantar Fasciitis is performed as a last-resort option when all more conservative treatment modalities have failed. Plantar Fasciitis Surgery involves making incisions in the plantar fascia ligament or detaching the ligament from the heel bone to relieve tension. This is done either via open or endoscopic surgery.


Heel spurs are found in 50 percent of those with plantar fasciitis, although the mechanism with which they produce fascial damage is unclear. Systemic diseases such as diabetes mellitus and rheumatic disease have also been linked to plantar fasciitis as they lead to changes in the muscular and bony structure of the feet.
Obesity, sudden weight gain, prolonged standing or weight-bearing and overtraining in runners are risk factors for plantar fasciitis. Other risk factors include flat feet and reduced dorsiflexion (upward flexion of ankle).
If your orthopedic surgeon has recommended open surgery, he will be cutting a small area of the bottom of the foot open in order to operate.


  • Your doctor will make an incision on your foot above the heel pad, where the thicker skin of the sole meets the thinner skin of the back of your heel, or your doctor may make an incision on the bottom of the foot. If the surgery is done endoscopically, your doctor will make a small incision on either side of the heel below the ankle bone.
  • Your doctor may detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone or make incisions on either side to release tension.
  • Your doctor may remove and smooth the bone surface to allow the plantar fascia to heal under less tension.
  • Sometimes doctors remove a small wedge of damaged tissue.
  • Your doctor may also free the thickest part of a foot muscle (abductor hallucis) to prevent nerves from becoming trapped as a result of the surgery.
    If a heel spur is present, it may be removed.



Total recovery time for plantar fasciitis operations tends to be three to six weeks, but you will need to wait as long as three months before participating in high-impact activities such as jogging. During the recovery process, you will be engaging in foot strengthening stretches to promote healing.

Because Plantar Fascia Surgery is an invasive procedure and requires a considerable recovery period, it should always be viewed as appropriate only in extreme cases which haven’t been resolved via non-invasive methods.

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