Don’t Put Off Treating Heel Pain

Skilled and compassionate podiatrist delivers excellent results.

The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, or chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the rigid ligament along the bottom of the foot, and it often becomes a problem for runners and other athletes, people who are required to stand for long periods at work, or even as a result of pregnancy.Skilled and compassionate podiatrist delivers excellent results.

“Heel pain may worsen upon weight-bearing activity and after prolonged sitting or resting,” explains board-certified podiatric surgeon Robert P. Dunne, DPM, FACFAS. “Sometimes, it will improve slightly, going from intense to duller pain.

“With plantar fasciitis, people often have a problem with pain but they procrastinate about getting it addressed: they get up in the morning and their foot hurts, then it goes away during the day…but after they come home and sit down for the night, the pain returns when they stand back up. Just because it’s not bothering them during the day, they think it’s going to go away on its own eventually, but it doesn’t.”

Dr. Dunne treats a wide variety of podiatric complaints, including heel, foot, and ankle pain and difficult-to-heal wounds on the lower extremities. He ensures that he always offers conservative treatment to patients wherever possible before suggesting a surgical procedure.

“For plantar fasciitis, we may do injections of cortisone, anti-inflammatories, prednisone, night splints, walking boots, physical therapy and orthotics,” explains the doctor.

Minimally Invasive Treatment

In the event that conservative care does not resolve a patient’s pain problem, Dr. Dunne offers the latest in surgical techniques for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy, or EPF, is a minimally invasive outpatient surgery performed under local anesthesia with mild sedation. The procedure takes only a few minutes, and patients can soon return to full activities.Skilled and compassionate podiatrist delivers excellent results.

“The patient is off their feet for a week and then they’re back on their feet, fully weight bearing, within a week,” he describes. “It’s an excellent option, and patients typically get a much better outcome with this procedure than with the traditional open fasciotomy procedure.”

Lake Washington Foot & Ankle is a comprehensive podiatric medicine clinic, offering treatment for everything from bunions to hammertoes. “We treat ingrown toenails, warts, and neuromas,” assures Dr. Dunne. “We also do clinical trials for diabetic ulcers, athlete’s foot and onychomycosis [fungal toenails].

“Our patients come first, and we recommend they take action now if they have a problem. Especially with plantar fasciitis, I’ve seen patients who reported that they lived with it for as long as two years, thinking that it would go away eventually. I would just encourage people not to wait so long to come in. The earlier we catch it, the easier it is for us to resolve the problem.”

FHCN staff article and file photo.
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