If you feel sharp, stabbing pain in your heel when you get out of bed in the morning, you may have a condition called plantar fasciitis. It’s no fun, because walking is difficult and your foot is sore. Dr. Steven P. Royall, DPM, with Mountain View Foot Clinic, LLC, in Lehi and Murray, Utah, treats many cases of plantar fasciitis with great success. Call or book an appointment online today if you have foot pain and think you may have plantar fasciitis.
You have a strong ligament called the plantar fascia on the bottom of your foot; it connects your toes to your heel bone and supports the arch of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is inflamed plantar fascia ligament tissue. If you have the condition, you’ll feel sharp, stabbing pain on the bottom of your foot, either at the front and/or in the middle of the heel bone. It’s usually most painful in the morning when you first stand up.
The plantar fascia stretches when your foot hits the ground as you walk. If your foot mechanics are improper, for example, if you roll your foot more to one side or the other when you walk, the plantar fascia can be stretched too far and become swollen and inflamed.
Dr. Royall first tries conservative treatments; he prescribes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and asks you to ice and rest the foot as much as possible. He may ask you to wear a night splint, which gently stretches the plantar fascia ligament while you’re asleep.
These remedies may enable plantar fasciitis to resolve on its own. If the pain continues, Dr. Royall injects a steroid directly into the painful area.
If the steroid does not significantly improve the condition, Dr. Royall performs a minimally invasive and non-surgical procedure known as the Tenex FAST (Focused Aspiration of Scar Tissue) procedure which removes the tissue causing your pain. This new procedure is revolutionizing how physicians treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions involving tendons, such as tennis elbow and swimmer’s shoulder.
During the procedure, Dr. Royall inserts a very small instrument the size of a needle in the affected area, using ultrasound for guidance. The tip releases energy which breaks up the scar tissue, which he then removes. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes, and the tiny prick of the instrument is covered with a small bandage--no stitches required. You’ll be able to resume your normal activities in about 10 days.
Along with the Tenex FAST procedure, Dr. Royall may prescribe orthotics. They are designed to correct improper foot mechanics--for example, when you walk, you may roll onto one side of your foot more than the other, eventually causing foot, leg, and even back pain.
Dr. Royall also recommends physical therapy, where you’ll learn ways to strengthen the plantar fascia as well as the tendons in your heel and muscles in your lower leg.