Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are common sources of heel pain that may require surgery. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the fibrous tissue that runs along the arch of the foot to connect the heel bone and ball of the forefoot. Heel spurs often accompany plantar fasciitis; spurs are outgrowths of bone that develop in the heel due to constant pressure. Heel spurs can become problematic when pain and other foot problems crop up as a result of footwear pressing and rubbing against the affected area, causing irritation, redness, swelling, and inflammation. As the bone spur irritates and inflames the surrounding soft tissue, acute pain and/ or a dull ache are experienced.
Heel pain is usually effectively alleviated with rest, ice application, orthotic inserts, exercises and stretches to alleviate tightness and pressure, and anti-inflammatory medications (always check with a doctor before taking any medication). However, in some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a heel spur, release the plantar fascia ligament, and/ or stretch foot nerves.