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, affects people who are required to stand for long periods of time or may even be a result of pregnancy.

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

According to Dr. Dunne, some people with plantar fasciitis pain procrastinate addressing the issue.

“They get up in the morning and their foot hurts, but then it goes away during the day,” he details. “After they come home and sit down for the night, the pain returns when they stand up again. Just because it’s not bothering them during the day, they think it will eventually go away on its own, but it doesn’t.”

Dr. Dunne treats a 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 options to patients whenever possible before suggesting surgery.

“For plantar fasciitis, we may provide injections of cortisone, anti-inflammatories, prednisone, night splints, walking boots, physical therapy and orthotics,” he notes.

If conservative approaches do not resolve the pain, Dr. Dunne offers the latest in surgical techniques for 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.

“The patient is off their feet for a week and then they’re back on their feet, fully weight bearing after that,” 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 care for everything from bunions to hammertoes.

“We treat ingrown toenails, warts and neuromas,” Dr. Dunne adds. “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 it would eventually go away. I 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. js
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