Plantar fasciotomy at age 34, still have pain 5 weeks after

by Kevin

Hi there. I've experienced mostly all the symptoms everyone else here has. About 2 years ago I started getting the typical pain in the left heel so commonly reported. I tried all the typical conservative approaches with no pain relief. On March 8, 2011 I had the fasciotomy release done on the medial 1/3rd of my left fascia.

It has now been 4 weeks post op. The first 3 weeks I pretty much stayed off my feet with the exception of hygiene needs and hobbled around on crutches.

In the start of my 4th week the doctor gave me instructions to start weening myself off the crutches over the last week. By last Friday, 4/1 I was pretty much off the crutches and limping around.

It is now the start of my 5th week post op and the doctor gave me instructions to bear weight, but take it easy. I am sore and all though parts of my heel feel a little relieved I now have more pain directly on the bottom of my left heel, as opposed to before, the pain was towards the inside of the left heel more.

As many others, it is tough to stay optimistic.

I'm icing it right now, as this has been my first day back to work in full shoes. I'm looking into negative heel shoes right now to aid in my recovery and will ask my doctor about them next week during my checkup. They seem like a viable aid to help reduce my pain symptoms.

One question I have, if a fasciotomy is to be considered successful, how much time to go by before I should normally have no pain?

Like said above after being off the foot for 3 weeks, there was no heel pain, but now after being on it again for the last week, it seems similar pain has returned?

Thanks for reading


Joshua Answers:

Hi Kevin.

Plantar Fasciitis can be bad news, but at least one's structure is intact.

Go in there and cut the structural supports, and it's a whole new ball game.

How long for pain to go away for it to be considered 'successful'? I really can't say.

I think a more valuable way to look at it is, 'If I can walk on it without pain, then it was a success.'

Having said that, I've seen doctors predict anywhere from a month to 8 months for pain to go away.

I imagine
it depends on how much structure they cut.

That structure got taut when you put weight on the foot. The doctor cut it partially or completely. Now you put weight on your foot and that structure no longer provides resistance, or a partly severed structure provides resistance's cut down the middle.

And all that force has to go -somewhere-.

Your pain went away in the first few weeks because you were off your foot. Now that you're putting load on it again....

Also, the -cause- of the original problem is still in place. It wasn't the plantar fascia, it was all the tight muscles and connective tissue of the lower leg.

The doctor cut where he cut for whatever reason. And considering that surgery causes damage, you're at four weeks which, all things considered, isn't that long of a period post-injury.

Heck, just stepping on a nail hurts for 3ish weeks, and your surgery caused a lot more damage than that.

And, of course, greatly aggravated the pre-existing Process of Inflammation.

Now you're walking again. And that's going to cause you to be sore, not just from the surgery injury, but because your structure has changed. And since that's changed, muscles are going to work differently and they're likely to get sore and unhappy (and they already were sore and unhappy).

In short, your symptoms are unsurprising for where you're at at week 5. Are you doomed to more pain, or will it get better? I really have no idea at this point, it could go either way, and there's lots of factors involved.

You of course can help it with Ice Dipping and increasing your protein and good fats intake, and loosening up the structures of the back of your lower leg.

Please reply using the comment link below. Do not submit a new submission to answer/reply, it's too hard for me to find where it's supposed to go.

And, comments have a 3,000 character limit so you may have to comment twice.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

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Comments for Plantar fasciotomy at age 34, still have pain 5 weeks after

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Aug 23, 2018
Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy -4 weeks ago
by: Mark E.


I am embarrassed to say I am not sure what exactly he removed. I will ask him Monday at my 1 month check-up. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I will hold off on my law suit for now :)

At my first appointment with him he told me I would not have any problem moving my son in to college this week (4-5 weeks post surgery).

In actuality, I am just try to take 10 minute walk at lunch time at this point without suffering.


Joshua Comments:

Well....doctors say all sorts of unrealistic overly positive things....

Definitely find out what exactly was done. One one hand, it doesn't matter becaue there's nothing to do about regardless of his answer...on the other hand, the conversation is pretty different depending on there was complete severance of the plantar fascia, or partial (and big partial or small partial).

Said another way, it's potentially useful to know how many pillars the surgeon removed that were holding up the bridge.

Aug 21, 2018
Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy -4 weeks ago
by: Mark E.

I have had plantar fasciitis for 10-15 years in my left foot. It was not terrible but more of a lingering burning pain. After trying all conservative treatments I decided to get this surgery.

The surgery went well. The Dr. took the stitches out after 2 weeks and I went in to sneakers. Since this I have been in pain. Various kinds of shooting and burning foot pain when I am on my feet. When I am off my feet it is fine.

I am very concerned because I don't see any positive progress. Its still early, but at this point I regret doing this surgery.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Mark.

1. What exactly was done during the surgery? Partial or complete severance of the plantar fascia? If partial, a tiny bit or a big bit?

2. Regardless of the above answer, 2 weeks post traumatic wounding of a weight bearing structure/ almost nothing. You SHOULD be in pain.

Unless you're a superhuman healer or equivalent, it's not at all surprising it hurts when you put weight on the still fresh wound and massive restructuring of the multiple-moving-weight-bearing-parts of your foot.

Jul 31, 2018
Plantar fasciitis post op
by: Christina

I’m 3 1/2 weeks post op after plantar fasciitis surgery. Went back to work in shoes, on my feet all day. Had so much pain all day. Went back to work next with boot and foot was swollen again.

Am I doing something wrong? Did I return to quickly?


Joshua Comments:

Hi Christina.

On your feet all day 3.5 weeks after surgery? Yikes.

Return too quickly, yes indeed. (And 'had so much pain all day' kind of confirms that.)

Plantar fasciitis release surgery partially or completely severs a thick, important structure of your foot, a pillar of a bridge so to speak.

Not only does the severed tissue have to heal, but the whole foot has to rearange itself to the sudden convoy going over the bridge with a couple less pillars and supporting cables.

Aug 26, 2017
Help!!! I am scared something is wrong :(
by: Khristena M.

I have suffered from plantar fasciitis for at least 5 years in left foot.. I tried all.. shots, shockwaves, physical therapy, cortisone shots.. and just last Friday 08/18/2017 I had the endoscopic plantar facitomy and was told to no weight bearing for a week.. which I did.. and went to dr yesterday and he took stitches out cause healed fast at sites.. and asked ok when will I be able to walk on it? He said go ahead and walk.. so I tried.. and nope I cannot AT ALL!! I am in sooo much excruciating pain that I am in tears every night cause I can't walk!!

When I see all these other forums about it and everyone is already walking and feeling relief.

I feel as if something went wrong and that's why it's sooooo tender and bruised feeling to even try a step on it.. what is wrong is this normal?

I am soo scared and how long will it take for me to really walk!? If I am ever to walk again.. it's making me depressed sooooo bad and I hate this.. I wish I never did he surgery I rather feel the pain I felt before the surgery then this.. I'm over it.. please help me.. :(


Joshua Comments:

Hi Khristena.

You had traumatic, major structural injury performed on your foot/feet.

It's perfectly normal to be in severe pain a week later.

Especially if you're short on nutrition and thus A. a slow healer and B. less able to self-reduce inflammation, etc.

But even if you're a fast healer, a major structural support of your foot was cut in half. That's no small thing.

And that's presuming the surgeon didn't do anything 'bad', accidentally or otherwise.

It's going to hurt for a while. Hopefully not forever.

Read this thread and the pages it links to.

Jun 03, 2017
7 weeks postop from surgery...still have pain requiring vicoden
by: Jen

I have been suffering with PF on my left foot only for 2 years. During the 2 years I tried everything. Icing, stretches, orthotics in my shoes, massage therapy, braces at night, a boot for 6 weeks, 5 cortisone shots to no avail.

Finally, i decided to have endoscopic plantar fasciitis release surgery. The surgery went well. Took a week off work. I got a knee scooter and zoomed around on that for 5 weeks.

My foot is still in so much pain. By the end of the day im hurting. I also take 3 800mg of ibuprofin during the day and I still have to take a vicodin when I get home to relieve the pain along with ice and elevation.

My foot still hurts when I walk on it with the first step. Saw my podiatrist and he just said it's still postop pain from the instrumentation during the surgery.

I feel like the pain is worse than before I went under the knife. He offered to do another cortisone shot!!! Omg! I said no way. Especially not in my postop surgery foot. Plus that would make 6 shots if he did that and I know your not suppose to have more than 3.

I just don't know how long the pain part of the recovery should last. I feel like I should be further along and maybe the surgery did nothing??

I am so lost and I am starting to become discouraged. My pain is all day long and I hobble around. Not to mention the boot is throwing my whole body into a hot mess. I even wear an evenup lift on the other shoe so I'm balanced. I just need to know if anyone has had the surgery and how your recovery went and what I can expect here in out.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Jen.

1.'re only 7 weeks out from a major wound/trauma to the foot. So, I'm not particularly surprised by your pain levels for a variety of reasons.

2. The doctor severed a major structure of the arch/weight distribution system of your foot.

Depending on what's happening in there, each step now is forcing the foot to do things it's never done before, which is potentially causing (more) stress on various spots and/or tearing of tissue (new tear or continuation of tear at severed spots).

3. In general, post surgery experience can be rough for longer than one might hope or expect.

4. You have a ton of inflammation at play in the foot etc.

The skin openings should have healed shut by now, so were I you I would be ice dipping like a crazy person. See the How To Reduce Inflammation link in this thread, follow directions: 10ish second ice dips in arctic cold water as often as you're willing to do. 5 gallon bucket or equivalent. Get the water as high up your leg as possible.

Mar 21, 2017
Still in Pain after endoscopic foot surgery
by: Pauline S

It has now been nearly 9 months since my Endoscopic Plantar Fascia release.

The pain is still quite horrible, much worse than before the surgery. I perform ritualistic stretching and icing at least 3 times a day. I have since seen another podiatrist, who thinks the surgery needs to be repeated, but not endoscopic.

He recommends opening up the bottom of the feet and removing part of the fascia. I don't know. I am afraid of it getting worse again.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Pauline.

1. How would removing part of the fascia help?

2. What is the problem that that fascia part is causing?

See: Quiz Your Doctor

Mar 21, 2017
Factory Workers BEWARE Plantar Fasciotomy!!!
by: Pauline S

I was treated for plantar fasciitis, in both feet, for over a year. But had symptoms for a year prior to treatment.

Treatment began, custom orthotics, cortisone in bottom of feet. This is excruciating, but does provide temporary relief) Treatment was not successful, the pain was constant any time I was on my feet.

I put some long hours in at work 8-12 hours a day, all on my feet walking 5-8 miles per day in steel toes on concrete. By the end of the day I was near tears. So my doctor advised fasciotomy. Boy do I REGRET this.

1 week after surgery, I was told to start walking without assistance in the surgical shoes. 2 weeks after, I was told to walk without surgical shoes. 3 weeks after, return to work!!!

I was released to go back to work with no restrictions after only 21 days. I hobbled around for 3 long excruciating days before I gave in and called the doc. I had to beg and plead for just one more week at home to recover. He was very reluctant to agree to this. So I returned again. The result was the same. But I struggled with the help on pain killers. And hobbled out every day like a cripple.

It has now been 54 days since the surgery and I still cannot take more than 8 hours a day, if I have something for pain.

My work life has been shot to pieces and my home life sucks as well. I get to look forward to hobbling home and try to recover from the day.



Joshua Comments:

Hi Pauline.

1. It's been a while since you wrote this. How are you feeling now?

2. What if any self care are you/have you been doing?

3. Seriously? They told you to walk without support at 1 week???

That makes me wonder what exactly they did during the surgery? Either a 'minor' surgery, or they severed the entire plantar fascia and then told you to put full weight on it a week later....???

4. So, what exactly did they do during the surgery?

Mar 05, 2017
When does plantar fasciitis ever go away! !!!!
by: Holly

I have been suffering with plantar fasciitis for 8 months! I had it before 4 years ago this time it's back with a vengeance!

Done everything therapy shots boots you name it!

Just got topaz surgery right foot February 6th still no change?? Pain is the same! Left foot also plantar fasciitis. Doctor said give it more time.

I'm so over this waiting to get better!!! Went to 4 doctors for this. Wondering if plamntar fasciitis is permanent and never goes away! !

Any suggestions? ??


Joshua Comments:

Hi Holly.

1. Well, you've tried everything your doctors have suggested, anyway, starting with shots and boots and then leading to topaz surgery.

Didn't work. Which isn't super surprising, unfortunately.

Having said that, two weeks post surgery isn't enough time to come up with an opinion on whether it 'worked' or not.

2. Plantar Fasciitis -can- be permanent, and -can- not go away, if one doesn't do anything effective for it.

Sometimes we'll just hurt for a while and things will corect themselves, but usually that's a 'better for a while, worse for a while, better for a while, worse for a longer while...' progression.

Plantar fasciitis is tendonitis, which is a dynamic, and a progressive dynamic of negative factors making those negative factors worse and worse over time.

3. My suggestions are :

A. Read this entire thread and follow the links and read those pages.

B. Get and start working with The Plantar Fasciitis Treatment That Works program (see link in this thread).

The right methods will reduce pain by restoring proper function.

The not right methods, not so much.

May 24, 2016
My foot hurts more now after plantar fasciitis surgery!!
by: Sean

I had my fascia cut and also a gastric cut in my calf to try to relieve pain in my heel. They said it was plantar fasciitis.

Now my foot and heel hurt five times as much making it hard to even just stand for long periods. Now they are saying I have small fiber neuropathy after some tests.

I need to figure a way to get rid of this pain in my right foot. It's so bad to work each day with it. My doctor has mentioned a nerve block next. Any ideas??? By the way I'm only 32 too:(


Joshua Comments:

Hi Sean.

1. What tests did they do to determine 'small fiber neuropathy'?

2. They went in and cut structural supports. Which not only causes injury, but weakens and disrupts the structural integrity of your foot/lower leg structures and working mechanism, making things work less well. Which causes problems.

3. Your surgery ignored all the causes of your original pain/problem (because that's what surgery does) and left you with more pain and less function.

4. A nerve block is the final admission of your doctor(s) that they are helpless to fix the initial problem or the problem that they created with the surgery.

Nothing will get fixed, they'll just crimp the nerve that's the conduit for the pain signal...but that's not all nerves do.

Their suggestion of surgery didn't help...will their suggestion of a nerve block?

You might have to do that just to knock the pain down.

But first I would do all the things that one should do to deal with plantar fasciitis issues. (See: The Plantar Fasciitis Treatment That Works program.

Read this whole thread and follow the links to other info pages to get a more full understanding of what's going on and why I would suggest the basics of treating tendonitis dynamics even post-surgery.

Feb 24, 2015
Original Thread Poster
by: Kevin

After almost 4 years I can say the foot is better.

It probably took about 2 years to recover and I wouldn't say its 100% of what it originally was about 6 years ago. I'd say the pain reduction is on the order of 80%, with a residual ache all over the foot and ankle joint. Due to the cutting of the plantar fascia, the entire physiology of the foot structure changes. Other areas of your foot have to compensate and those changes cause ache all over the ankle joint. Not pain, just a constant ache.

What's funny about all this is that I developed a heel spur in my right foot last March, about a year ago. It got worse and I had a cortisone injection in October and it worked. No more pain in my right foot. Strange?

I think the thing that helped with my second heel spur in the right foot this time, is the shoes I've been wearing. I-roc. They force you to walk on your arch and the front of your foot. A little awkward, but it keeps your body weight off your sore heel. I might get another cortisone shot back in my original, left heel to see if that takes the ache away that I've had for the last 4 years.

Surgery recovery from plantar fasciotomy takes about 1 year and 9 months. You'll walk on it with severe to significant pain for about 3 months. Then it will be moderate pain for about 6 months and then for the next year it will be mild pain and eventually recede to a constant ache.

There is no good side to this story. Get used to it hurting to some degree for the rest of your life. I'll see if a cortisone shot back in the initial location of the surgery helps.

The symptoms started March and got whose through the summer.

Finally in the fall I got a cortisone shot in the hell and it seems to have taken care of it. I recommend I-roc foot wear. It helped weight of the heel to allow the foot to shoot she's go heal.

I-roc shoes really help. They look like old man/old lady shoes, but they very functional.

This is a 4 year follow up from my original post. Thanks for reading.

Feb 22, 2015
plantar faciotomy at 34
by: Barbara

I am 34 and had an open plantar fasciotomy as well the only difference for me is the week after my surgery my doctor wanted light weight bearing on my foot and a little more after two weeks.Im now on my 3rd week and although i still have a good bit or soreness and pain its nothing like before.

You really should talk to your doctor about a mri to make sure it hasnt healed back together thats one of the reasons most doctors want light weight after the first week.

I hope everything improves for you.

May 06, 2014
My 4 years of plantar fascititis pain leading up to plantar fasciotomy
by: Sandra

I started having symptoms approx 4 years ago in May, I remember this because I got married the following June. I thought when it started that it was a "stone bruise". I hopped around for a couple of months hoping the pain would go away and it didnt. :(

Well anyways it's been 4 years now and the pain only got worse. I have seen a Orthopaedic many times now, I've had numerous steroid injections, night splints, therapy, ice, ibuprofen and now in 5 days I'm scheduled to have a open plantar fasciotomy. I'm real nervous about it all. I've tried to read everything that I can about plantar fasciotomy and its recovery.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Sandra.

That's a long time to hurt, and it's a shame that doctors continually prescribed you treatment options that had very little chance of working.

And of course surgery is the next and final option in the doctor's limited tool bag/bag of tricks.

I hope the plantar fasciotomy goes well. Please keep us updated.

See Related: I Still Have Foot Pain 2 Years After My Plantar Fasciotomy

Feb 05, 2013
Post op pain and on my feet for 7 hours
by: Anonymous

I am almost 6 weeks post op from a right foot plantar fasciotomy, and just returned back to work. By the end of the day my foot was killing me. I am on my feet 7 hours at work. So I knew it wasn't going to be "pain free".

I still feel the heel pain and was just wondering if it will get better or am I just experiencing this until my feet adjust to standing more now?

I have also been experiencing calf pain all day, is this to be expected?

Praying it gets better soon


Joshua Comments:

Hi Postopynonymous.

Unfortunately, I can't say whether it will get better or not. That depends on the self care you're doing, that depends on what the surgeon did in there.

What are you doing for self care?

What did the surgeon do in there?

Oct 02, 2011
6 months post op -- Plantar fasciotomy at age 34, still have pain 5 weeks after
by: KV

I'm now 7 months post from the foot surgery back in March. I do still have pain. It's manageable, but noticeable.

I had and still have compensation pains on the outside of the foot, but it slowly seems to be subsiding. It truly feels like I just have tendinitis these days. The site if the heel spur still has pain, but only slight: like a 2 or 3 out of 10. I hope when a year has come and gone the pain will be gone, but I'm not quite so sure? At least I can go most of the day on my feet if I need to now.

I do need to change my diet and excersize more. It would be helpful I'm sure.

Sometimes getting older can be tough.

Oct 02, 2011
PF Surgery -- Plantar fasciotomy at age 34, still have pain 5 weeks after
by: Anonymous

Hope your pain is reducing. 5 months is not a long time. As they say, time is a great healer......


May 19, 2011









Joshua Comments:

Hi Debbie.

Sorry to hear about all that.

I also think after the surgery you should have been in a neutral or slightly lengthened position. The whole point of the surgery was to -lengthen-.

So what now?

You have to deal with the original source of the problem, which probably wasn't even your foot. You have to make sure your nutrition is up to snuff.

You have to reverse the problems the foot surgery caused, as well as reverse the Plantar Fasciitis.

Tendonitis, for the most part, is completely predictable. The right tools help, and the wrong tools don't. It's safe to say you've been experiencing the wrong tools.

I suggest that you get my 'The Plantar Fasciitis Treatment That Works' and the Companion ebook that comes with it. It's a complete plan. And I can give you pointers etc via email specifically for surgery repair.

Otherwise, find the pages on:
Magnesium for Tendonitis, and
How To Reduce Inflammation.

May 04, 2011
8 weeks post op after plantar fasciotomy release and heel spur removal
by: Anonymous

I am now over 8 weeks post op from the plantar fasciotomy release to help ease the pain from my heel spur.

I am pretty happy to report that the heel spur site is hardly experiencing pain any longer.

When I went into this surgery I was about an 7 or 8 on a 1-10 pain scale. Post op at 5 weeks I was at like an 8-9 and now I'm glad to report that I'm like a 3-4 in just 3 quick weeks!

I am however, experiencing compensation pains along the outside of my foot and inbetween my 3rd and 4th toes up at the front of the foot. Overall, the pain seems to be subsiding. I would have never realized this would be this long of a recovery time. I'll keep my fingers crossed and stay optimistic that this whole thing worked!

Dr. wants to see me in another month to see how progress is and I've also been going to physical therapy again to do some strength training and massage therapy. I've also bought a few pairs of real comfortable shoes/sneakers/boots/sandles.

I will never take my feet for granted again!

Thanks for reading.


Joshua Comments:

Yeah, isn't it amazing how we take our body, and parts of our body, for granted.

Until pain shows up, and then it's a whole different story....

So yes, you can expect compensatory patterns and pains to come and go and come and go and stay.

Basically, your brain has to figure out how to walk again, to to fire everything as optimally as possible.

Surgery drastically changed the set up of you foot, so this have to shift, parts of muscles that haven't worked for a long time have to start working again, and just might get sore and/or unhappy.

Keep doing the strengthening and massage, and keep getting better!

Apr 15, 2011
6 weeks post op
by: KC

Hi Joshua,

I am now 6 weeks post op from my plantar fasciotomy to relieve the pain associated with my heel spur. At the beginning of the week I was in a lot of pain. I bought some orthopedic shoes, called I-Roc, and I must say the pain in my heel has virtually all but gone away in 3 days! These shoes in tandem with taking it easy and a daily dose of Aleve to reduce inflamation has really helped. These shoes have made a huge difference just in 2 days. I was skeptical at first, but am pleased with the results and can only image that I'll feel even better in another week.

Again, thank you for all the great information on your website. If all goes well and my foot feels better by the end of next week, I am going to start bicycling to gain some strength and get some much needed excersise!

Apr 06, 2011
Thank you
by: Kevin

Thank you for the kind words and great information. I've pretty much read most of your website today and there's so much information on here.

I was quite overwhelmed yesterday by all the pain. A good night sleep and staying off of it today helped a bit. I talked to the dr today and asked if I could stretch the fascia some. He approved. So tonight I filled the tub with hot water, massaged the foot/heel, stretched out the gastrocs and the fascia. After that I used a hard solid rubber ball the size of a racket ball to roll massage the whole foot area and then iced it down two times; once for a half hour then another twenty minutes about an hour later. I must say it feels pretty good right about now.

Im going to try to stay optimistic! I'll keep you posted and again, thank you for the good advice.


Joshua Comments:

Hey Kevin.

No reason not to stay optimistic! Most anything can get better, it just takes work.

Notice you felt better after the massage. Keep doing that. And do it on the back of your lower leg too.

You want to get better? Keep at it.

It's all about helping your body heal. Because by default, it often doesn't do such a great job of it all on it's own.

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