New Advances in the Treatment of Heel Pain:
Plantar Faciitis is a debilitating condition that affects people of all ages. Chronic and Acute heel pain are almost always associated with plantar faciitis. In short: Planta Faciitis is a condition that develops as a result of changes in foot structure and associated abnormal gait patterns. The effect on the bone and soft tissue structures is development of microtearing of a ligament (Plantar Facia) which connects from the forefoot to the heel. This ligament (Plantar Fascia) is responsible for helping to support the arch. This microtearing usually occurs at the heel which is the weakest point of its insertion. Over time the body tries to heal this area with development of scar tissue of fibrosis. This tissue becomes extremely painful with walking and especially getting out of bed in the morning. The body will also try to heal this area with development of a growth of bone along the injured area and form a heel spur often seen radiographically. This heel spur is often mistaken to be the cause of pain. This is rarely true. The pain is actually secondary to the scar tissue or fibrosis that forms as a result of chroniic injury to the Plantar Fascia as described above.
Treatment is aimed at resolving the fibrosis formation at the plantar facia heel interface and allowing for natural revascularization and recollagenation of the injured plantar fascia and correction of abnormal foot mechanics which cause this problem to develop.
Traditional treatment revolves around Physical Therapy modalities and cortisone injections to resolve the problem which is perfectly acceptable. Orthotics are routinely recommended to correct abnormal biomechanical function of the foot which is the cause of the problem.
New advances at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center are aimed at a combination of minimal procedural interventions, new cellular technologies and laser treatments to optimize getting our patients healed while allowing for full activity.
Radiofrequency Ablation- This is a minor procedure which faciltates destruction of fibrotic tissue to stimulate stem cell migration and revascularization of the injured plantar fascia percutaneously without incisions, scarring, pain and essentially zero down time.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy- The same technology used to break up kindney stones (Lithotrypsy). A non-invasive, in-office procedure which allows us to apply energy in the form of a shockwave transdermally through the heel to the injured plantar fascia to break up fibrous tissue and also stimulate stem cell migration and revascularization and collagenation of the injured plantar fascia.
Laser Treatments- An in-office procedure often used in conjunction with other technologies which allows us to apply advanced light therapy in the form of a laser to the injured plantar fascia. This will increase vascularity and aid in stem cell recruitment to heal the injured ligament. Typically 5-6 treatments are required and are complety painfree with no restriction of activity.
Stem Cell Therapy- A new advancing technology being used for multiple musculoskeletal conditions. Stem cells are derived from a donor cell and recombinant technology allows for manufacture of an injectable solution which we inject into the injured plantar fascia. The injected cells will facilitate rapid migration of cellular biochemical processes to the injured plantar fascia for optimal healing. This procedure is also a simple office procedure which can be used in conjunction with other technologies for difficult cases.
The treatment of heal pain is rapidly changing. What was understood and done just a few years ago is considered outdated as new technologies replace the older ones. Advanced Foot and Ankle Center is committed to staying ahead of the curve and being the leaders in the treatment of heel pain to provide our patients with the exceptional care they deserve.
If you have more questions about heel pain, call Advanced Foot and Ankle Center in Newark, DE at 302-355-0056.