WHAT IS HEEL SPUR SYNDROME?
It is often described as a "stone bruise"
on the bottom of the heel by the patient.
Pain is usually worse in the morning, especially the first
several steps, or when first standing after periods of
rest. As the pain worsens, the heel can hurt even while
What causes it?
Heel Spur Syndrome, or heel pain, is usually caused by a
mechanical problem involving the structural alignment of
the foot. There is a dense fibrous band of tissue in the
bottom of the foot known as the plantar fascia. The
plantar fascia inserts into the heel bone and spreads out
into the foot. Because of mechanical misalignment of the
foot, excessive tension is placed on this band of tissue,
causing inflammation and pain. The size or presence of a
heel spur does not always correlate with the amount of
Maybe it will just go away.
This is possible, in some patients. However, this is not
usually the case. In most cases the longer the patient
waits to seek treatment, the more chronic the condition
becomes, and thus requires a more lengthy and involved
If all of your symptoms go away with conservative care
then surgery will not be necessary. If, however, pain and
discomfort are still present after conservative care has
been tried, then surgery is recommended.
What is endoscopic plantar fasciotomy?
Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy is a recent advance in foot
surgery for the correction of Heel Spur Syndrome and
Plantar Fasciitis. The new technique allows for a quicker
recovery and a faster return to normal activity. The
procedure is performed by utilizing specially designed
instruments that allow the surgeon to directly visualize
the foot structures on a video screen. It involves an
outpatient surgical visit that takes approximately 20
minutes and only requires 2 small incisions.
Am I a candidate for this surgical
If you have failed to obtain complete relief of heel pain
symptoms with the use of conservative treatments such as:
taping, orthotics, cortisone injections, oral medication
or physical therapy, then you may benefit from an
Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy. A complete evaluation and
discussion with Dr. Benjamin will help determine your best
How is this procedure different?
In classic heel spur surgery, a large open incision is
made to sever the tight ligament in the arch known as the
plantar fascia and to remove the bone spur which has
formed within this fascia. Studies have proven that the
actual bone spur is formed over a long period of time
because of constant pulling. The injury produces
inflammation, pain and inability to bear weight on the
heel comfortably. The inflammation stimulates spur
formation. The spur is a symptom of the inflammation and
not the cause of the heel pain. In Endoscopic Plantar
Fasciotomy it is not necessary to remove the heel spur in
order to cure the pain.
What are the expected results?
Most patients return to their regular shoes in 3-5 days.
Most return to work after the first week, and return to
their normal activities by the end of the third week.
Everyone heals slightly differently. Other factors such as
age, weight, and occupation can contribute to healing
What are the risks and complications?
Fortunately, there are few complications that are
relatively minor and usually resolved with careful
follow-up. As with all other surgery, no procedure is risk
free, and there is no guarantee as to the success of this
procedure. The most common risks inherent to this
procedure include delayed healing with aching at the
surgical site or instep, infection, and a possibility of a
small area of numbness at the incisions.
Will my insurance cover this procedure?
You should have benefits for this procedure if you have
surgical coverage. You may be responsible for a portion of
the surgical fees including insurance deductibles and