Two Plantar Fasciotomies: Best Decisions Ever, the Caveats

by Benjamin

First off, I've suffered from plantar fasciitis ever since I was 23. I am writing this at 35yo, having just completed my second fasciotomy last week. My plantar fasciitis was so bad, I was using a cane by 27. I was told early on that I suffered from the ever popular and very common heel pain. It started out in both feet, but soon began to become prominent in my right foot.

I tried everything intermittently, but more or less tried to move on without demanding relief.

After ten years of suffering, cane use, and an inability to run and eventually walk, I decided to find a podiatrist who could solve my problems without more steroid injections, useless drugs, and orthodics. I wasn't going to live the rest of my life crippled.

I knew about surgery, but so many articles said it was a bad idea and not recommended. I was afraid of it. After two years of active searching and not giving up, I finally found a doctor who, after one visit, believed my level of pain and recommended a plantar fasciotomy. I expressed my concern and he said plainly, "That's silly." He began to explain that surgery for someone suffering for only a few months to a year, it would be a ridiculous option. That person would find the recovery tough because they hadn't suffered like I had for over a decade. He said I would find it relatively easy and well worth it due to the level of pain I was experiencing all the time.

The recovery was rough, but only in the sense that my foot was tired after just a few minutes of walking and because I needed a cane for six weeks. But... The relief in the heel was immediate. There was no more tightness and I knew my plantar fasciitis was cured. After just three months of discomfort and pain (which I was in anyways prior to surgery), I discovered how amazing the surgery was.

I was able to wake up without pain and place 100% of my body weight on my heel, which I hadn't done in over a decade. I tried running and that foot handled it beautifully, while I quickly discovered my left foot was beginning to suffer. Ugh..

I decided to be smarter and take care of it before it got bad. I would try and cure the plantar fasciitis earlier than I had my right foot. I worked with my amazing podiatrist and he recommended the usual alongside stem cell injections. Sadly, after a year and a half of patience and
effort, my left foot only got worse. My right foot, since surgery, was reliable and perfect. So, it was easy to decide upon surgery one more time.

Being prepared this time around, I took an extended weekend off of work and immediately used a cane at all times. I walked no longer than two minutes for the first five days and kept my foot propped up the rest of the time. This time around, it has been much easier due to my preparation and intelligence. And... Just as before, the relief was immediate. Sleeping is pain free and after only nine days, I am placing my body weight on my heel without issue. I'll wait to run still, because I know what my heel is going through. But, I would not be able to use my feet without these two surgeries.

Do not have a plantar fasciotomy if you've only suffered a few months. Until you know constant pain, even when sleeping, you haven't tried enough. I went through steroid injections, orthodics, anti-inflammatory medicines, night braces, tapes, exercise breaks, and stem cell injections. None of it worked. Remember, I was using a cane just to be able to hobble around at the age of 27. Until you know that kind of pain, you will not appreciate the relief of a plantar fasciotomy.

If you do know that pain, don't be afraid. Recovery is much less painful than chronic plantar fasciitis.


Joshua Comments:

Hi Benjamin.

That sounds like a pretty darn good surgery and recovery experience.

Did you have partial or complete plantar fasciotomies?

How did the doctor determine that that was the thing to cut, and where exactly did the cuts happen?

How are things now, 6 months after you wrote the above?

If still good, we'll have to considery you in this category: Plantar Fasciitis Surgery In Both Feet Best Decision I Made So Far

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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Sep 10, 2018
Update Part 2
by: Benjamin

The actual incisions happened on the sides of my foot, near the base, just above the heel. The interior incisions are twice the length of the outer incisions. The interior incisions are only an inch long.

The outside incisions were used to put the camera inside the foot and the interior incisions are where the actual cutting tool was inserted. Each surgery lasted no longer than 15 minutes and I was out of the facility within three and a half hours.


Joshua Comments:

Yep, you're definitely in the top percentile.

That's good news you can run etc problem-free with supports.

Rolling regularly is good. Ice dipping is good (to keep inflammation process down, over time/in general).

Thanks for the details and the update!

Sep 10, 2018
by: Benjamin

I had two complete fasciotomies. My plantar fascia were so swollen and angry (for lack of a better word) the only solution was to completely sever the fascia. My podiatrist used ultrasound technology and discovered the fascia in each foot were so swollen and enlarged that they looked nothing like healthy plantar fascia in any capacity. Even at complete rest they remained swollen and agitated.

After my final surgery six months ago, I am happy to report I am able to run and walk without issue. However, my feet do require support at all times since my fascia were severed. Walking barefoot is an absolute no-no. I have tried walking barefoot and my feet simply do not have the support they once did after the fasciotomies.

Regardless of needing to always wear footwear, I am pain free when I sleep, walk, and run. I am extremely happy I had both surgeries.

I also have a trainer who recommended that I roll my feet out with a small exercise ball to keep the sole of my foot tender and pliable. I found that very helpful post recovery as tightness from exercise is resolved quite easily. I also want to prevent further injury to my foot.

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