Surgery for patients with recalcitrant plantar fasciitis: Good results at short-, medium-, and long-term follow-up

Patrick Wheeler, Kevin Boyd, Mary Shipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of foot pain, and although many episodes are self-limiting with short duration, 10% leave chronic symptoms. Recalcitrant cases can be managed surgically, with studies demonstrating good results in the short term but uncertainties over longer term outcomes. Purpose: To assess the outcome following surgical intervention for patients with plantar fasciitis. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: Seventy-nine patients were identified from operative diaries undergoing plantar fasciotomy surgery between 1993 and 2009. They were contacted to investigate long-term results using self-reported outcome measures. Results: Sixty-eight responses were received (86% response rate), with an average of 7 years (range, 1-15 years) of follow-up. Patients reported an average reduction in pain by visual analog scale of 79%, and 84% of patients were happy with the surgical results. Greater success was achieved in patients with shorter duration of symptoms preoperatively. No deterioration in success was seen over time. Conclusion: Plantar fasciotomy surgery for plantar fasciitis remains controversial, with biomechanical arguments against surgery; however, this article reports good success following surgery over a long follow-up period. The results of current operative techniques need to be fully investigated for longer term success, as do the outcomes of newer nonoperative management strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • Ankle
  • Foot
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Surgery
  • Tendinosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Surgery for patients with recalcitrant plantar fasciitis: Good results at short-, medium-, and long-term follow-up'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this