Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ


I am really struggling with plantar fasciitis. I've finally decided to go get some help. What kind of treatment and results can I expect?


Conservative care for this common orthopedic disorder includes antiinflammatory drugs, physical therapy, orthotics, or cortisone injection. Orthotics are supports that fit inside your shoe to help support and take pressure off the inflamed tissue.

The goal of treatment is to reduce or eliminate pain and improve function. If conservative treatment fails, then surgery may be the next step. The plantar fascia is cut to release the tension.

Results of conservative or surgical care remain inconsistent. Some patients get better and others don't. There's no way to predict who will benefit from what kind of treatment.

A new treatment called extracorporeal shockwave may be another option. It's done on an out-patient basis with minimal discomfort. A recently published long-term study reports the results are much better for shockwave treatment compared to conservative care.

Most patients receiving shockwave treatment had no heel pain with improved function. Many of the athletes returned to full participation in sports. Symptoms came back in 11 percent of the shockwave group compared to 55 percent for those patients receiving antiinflammatory drugs, exercise, or local steroid injection.

Ching-Jen Wang, MD, et al. Long-term Results of Extracorporeal Shockwave Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. April 2006. Vol. 34. No. 4. Pp. 592-596.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
All content provided by eORTHOPOD® is a registered trademark of Medical Multimedia Group, L.L.C.. Content is the sole property of Medical Multimedia Group, LLC and used herein by permission.

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