Heel Spur Surgery Recovery Time: [Is It Worth Doing the Surgery?]
Heel spur surgery recovery time can depend on how your procedure was done. You should be up and walking within about 6 week, but only 95% at 6 months!
- Bottom of the heel pain can be improved with a few simple treatment changes.
- We are foot doctors & we see this problem get better almost every day.
- The goal is to solve this problem with as little medication and $ as possible.
So, let’s GO!
- One of the top causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis, this is damage to a ligament that holds your heel to your toes.
- There are also photos of heel spurs that can occur to the bottom of your heel (plantar fascia insertion) and the back of your heel (Achilles tendon insertion).
- Baxter’s nerve entrapment can also happen at the bottom of the heel.
- An underlying cause is an over pronated flatfoot, or an over supinated high arched foot.
- This can lead to the formation of a heel stress fracture( AKA calcaneus stress fracture.
Please click on the gallery for a guided tour through heel pain conditions!
Heel Spur Recovery Time Overview:
- How long is heel spur surgery recovery time? Is Heel Spur Surgery even worth it?
- It can greatly depend on how your procedure was done.
- If it was performed in the minimally invasive fashion, you should be up and walking within about 6 weeks.
- Sometimes it can be a little shorter or a little bit longer.
- A heel spur is caused by condition as time goes by that bone essentially breaks and stretches out of the heel due to the plantar fascia.
- This is how all spurs happen throughout the body.
- This is not specific to only the plantar fascia.
- This means that there is too much biomechanical stress on that ligament and it is pulling out of the bone.
- The real key to fixing this is to remove the stress off the spur.
Symptoms can include:
- Numbness, burning and tingling.
- Pain can be worse than the morning, especially when you’re first getting out of bed.
- The pain can get worse after a long day, this will cause more pain at night and more pain when you wake up in the morning.
- It can feel better while wearing good supportive shoes. Next paragraph can feel better while wearing a good supportive orthotic.
Is Heel Spur Surgery worth it?
Heel bone spur surgery is WORTH it when:
- You are having severe pain.
- You do not have other major health issues slowing you down.
- You are not doing it for just cosmetic reasons.
- That is truly the only only thing causing you pain.
- You have tried plantar fasciitis exercises and stretching and they did not work.
- When you don’t have an urgent meeting or event to get back to within the next 4-6 weeks that requires you to be on your feet.
Heel bone spur surgery is NOT WORTH it when:
- There is something else causing you pain beyond your heel spur.
- If you goal is to wear high heel shoes or flip flops. Your pain will only eventually start all over again and cause you severe pain in the future in other areas.
- If you have gained a very large amount of weight quickly, this is not a solution for severe weight gain.
- If you have not tried orthotics.
- If you have not switched to sensible shoes.
- If you have not tried plantar fasciitis exercises or stretching.
- If you have not had a long talk with your podiatrist about other options.
Non-Surgical Heel Spur Treatment:
- Nonsurgical treatment for heel spurs focuses on biomechanical support.
- Treatment includes great shoes, great orthotics, and increasing flexibility.
- The best way to get rid of this pain is to decrease the stress on your feet through support, and decreasing the pressure through reducing body weight.
- This comprehensive treatment video will show you everything you need to know about fixing your plantar fascia conservatively at all.
- It is a long video, but we promise it will be worth watching!
Surgery for Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spur Removal:
- Surgery for plantar fasciitis and heel spur is essentially the same thing as heel spur removal surgery, just another fancy way of saying it.
- Generally the heel spur does not need to be removed, it is usually the scarred plantar fascia tissue that needs to be removed.
- Heel spur removal surgery has proven to not really be as necessary as simply lengthening the fascia.
Pros and Cons of Heel Spur Removal Surgery:
- See one of our podiatrists to see the pros and cons of heel spur removal surgery.
- We prefer the endoscopic plantar fascia release technique.
- With the endoscopic plantar fascia release technique, the incision site is minimal, the risks are less and the overall results are much better overall.
- Most patients generally do not require very long healing time after the endoscopic approach.
Pros of heel surgery for plantar fasciitis:
- Very reliable procedure.
- This procedure has been studied extensively over the decades with constant improvements and publications.
- This is not the new and fancy procedure touting stem cells or PRP injections, but it is a proven effective treatment.
- Is usually minimally invasive or performed through a scope for fastest possible healing results.
- Good evidence backing up its effectiveness. There are many studies and many people that have had this done proving its effectiveness, it is not the new flavor of the month procedure.
- Walking in a boot for up 6 weeks, then transitioning into a good supportive shoe.
- If you are lighter and are in more of a sit down job the healing time could be much less!
Cons of heel surgery for plantar fasciitis:
- Surgery is usually only recommended when shoes and orthotics fail.
- Surgery carries risk factors, although these are generally low.
- In a boot for up to 6 weeks.
- If you are very heavy and plan on walking on hard surfaces for 12 hours a day, odds are something new will start hurting even if is not your plantar fascia.
- You will have an incision site, although this is small, it is something that can get irritated and potentially scarred.
- You still need to wear good shoes and orthotics going into the future to get really good results.
- Surgery needs to be in the hospital and is usually expensive.
Heel Spur Surgery Recovery Time :
This is the rough guideline for most people:
Day 1: Heel Spur Surgery Day:
- The actually surgery takes well under an hour, and your foot is usually numbed up for the rest of the day.
- You have pain medication for a few days depending on your pain level.
- Some people don’t need any pain medication at all.
- A dressing is applied along with a surgery boot that you can walk in.
- Most physically able people do not need crutches or a walker unless they have other health issues.
- Usually there are about 2 sutures in the foot.
Day 7: Heel Spur Surgery Postoperative Visit #1:
- Within about a week, we have the first postoperative visit.
- You have your first dressing change at this time.
- With this dressing change some antibiotic ointment is applied, we make sure you are not having any problems at this time.
Day 14-21:Heel Spur Surgery Postoperative Visit #2:
- This can fluctuate depending your overall health needs, physical fitness and life needs.
- If you are able to rest more, weight less and are really healthy, sutures can usually come out at 2 weeks.
- If you swell more and are more tender, they can stay in a little bit longer.
- At this point your incision site should be healed.
What Can Speed Up Healing Time in Heel Spur Surgery?
There are many things that can make you heal much quicker.
A)How much do you weigh?
- A 400lbs person may have a slightly harder time walking on his plantar fascia site than a 100lbs person.
- Generally the smaller someone is, all things being considered equal, they can walk much quicker with better relief of pain.
- The more athletic and strong you are in the rest of your body, generally the better you can keep weight off the heel while it improves.
B)How much walking do you need to do after a surgery?:
- Someone who is a computer programmer clearly needs to stand or walk less than a nurse at a hospital for example.
- If you have kids and need to check on them every 5 minutes, odds are you will be more sore after the surgery than someone who can sit and watch netflix all week.
- The bottom line is, the less you walk on your feet, the faster they will heal immediately after the surgery.
- This can sometimes make a 50% healing time difference based on our experience.
C)How healthy and physically fit are you?
- People who can barely walk before surgery, generally have a hard time walking after surgery.
- This means if you can’t support yourself on crutches or a knee scooter, you may be unable to walk after surgery without causing constant irritation to the foot.
- Someone who is lighter, more physically fit will heal faster.
Best Heel Pain Products:
- There are usually two phases to treating plantar fasciitis pain.
- The two phases of treatment include controlling the acute inflammation, and correcting the biomechanics which led to the problem in the first place.
- If the tendons and ligaments are inflamed, they are almost frozen in place and cannot function properly.
- Once the inflammation is decreased, we need to correct the bio-mechanical causes to ensure that they can never become over worked and inflamed again!
- This doesn’t matter whether it’s plantar fasciitis, plantar fibroma, sore bottom of foot, or even Achilles tendon pain. Treatment is all roughly very similar.
Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis Inflammation:
Massage & Ice Products:
- Ice is the an excellent option that can be safe for almost everyone.
- There is some debate whether icing is worth doing, but for chronic pain this can help limit the need for medications and keep your options open.
- This works great for your arch, less for the ball of the foot.
- The more muscle and ligament tissue there is, the better ice will work there.
Menthol Based Gels:
- Biofreeze is one of our favorites.
- These gels have been studied to work 2x as long as ice.
- This works great for the ball of the foot.
- This can be very effective for bottom of the heel and Achilles tendon sore regions.
- These can work great for loosening your muscles.
- This allows less tightness and pressure on the ball of your foot.
- This is very effective for the arch, the gastrocnemius or calf muscle and for the hamstring and thigh muscles.
- This also works very well for the gluteus muscles if you are having butt cheek or hip pain.
Remove the Plantar Fascia or Achilles Tendon Stress:
- The key is to prevent future pain.
- This means keeping you active while keeping stress off of your plantar fascia tendon. This will prevent future re-injury and development of plantar fasciitis.
- If you can get rid of the pain and swelling, this will let you start walking normally.
- If you can walk normally, the vast majority of your pain should gradually start to go away.
- The best way to ensure that your plantar fascia, foot and ankle ligaments are not overworked is to support them.
- The best way to support them is to use great orthotics and great shoes.
- Some people may also need to rely on supportive ankle braces and other supportive modalities.
The Best Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis Shoes:
- Getting a great supportive pair of shoes will make sure that there is pressure removed from the heel and plantar fascia region.
- This is especially important if you have plantar fasciitis, heel spur pain or Achilles tendonitis.
- Consider shoes combined with a good supportive orthotic for best pain relief!
- The following link will show you what our favorites are.
Best Heel Pain & Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics:
- These are our recommended orthotics for plantar fasciitis.
- Custom orthotics can work very well, but they should not be a first line of treatment.
- There are different types for different shoes.
- Women’s shoes usually need a less bulky orthotic, but allow for less correction.
- A full length orthotic requires a running shoe, boot or comfortable walking/dress shoe.
- We recommend doing everything you can to get a good supportive shoe that can fit a full length orthotic.
- This is the best way to maximize your orthotics for great results.
Best Full Length Orthotics:
- These will only work in wider shoes or a good supportive running shoe.
- This will not work in sandals, flats or most women’s dress shoes.
Best Dress Shoe Orthotics:
- These are a great choice for dress orthotics.
Best 3/4 Length Orthotics:
- These are great options for women’s dress shoes and thinner shoes.
- These are not the most supportive pair of orthotics.
Get A Great Dynamic Stretch:
- It is possible to stretch on your own, but these products can also really help!
- This will take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- We personally prefer this method of stretching.
Get A Great Static Stretch:
- These devices are great for stretching while you are resting.
- This will also help take pressure off of the ball of your foot.
- This works great for plantar fasciitis.
- It can be used while watching TV or at night time.
Best Heel Compression Brace:
- A good compression brace can stabilize your foot from turning outward.
- This prevents your foot from pronated.
- Pronated foot will turn your foot outward in your foot will rub on the outside of the shoe.
- For many of her patients this has solved their pain and is very comfortable to wear inside your shoe.
- This solves both pain and outward pronation for a relatively low cost.
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Best Heel Stability Brace:
- Stability brace goes little bit further than the compression brace to stop your foot from turning out.
- This takes pressure off of your heel and plantar fascia.
- At the same time this is a little bit bulkier and does not affect every shoe.
- We find people are little bit happier trying the compression brace before the stability brace.
Table could not be displayed.
- If you think you might have a broken heel, a calcaneal stress fracture or something of similar severity, these products might help!
- Always remember to see a foot and ankle specialist like a podiatrist if you are having plantar fasciitis or more severe pain!
Plantar Fascia Tear, Broken Heel Bone, Achilles Tendon Tear:
- If you have a traumatic injury such as a torn plantar fascia ligament, calcaneus stress fracture, heel fracture or insertional Achilles tendon injury: consider protecting your foot!
- The best way to do this is of course to see your podiatrist and get evaluated with an x-ray, ultrasound and potentially even an MRI or CT scan.
- If you are unable to do so it may benefit you to be in a cast, fractured boot, or even keep the weight off of it with a rolling knee scooter or other protective devices.
- We as podiatrists frequently take patients off work for very long period of time when they suffer a traumatic injury, unfortunately there is no other way around us in labor jobs.
- If you have a sit down job there are ways to get people back to work quicker, but this can be very difficult otherwise.
Heel Injury Boot Treatment:
- There are pros and cons to using a boot to treat your heel injury. If you are immobilized too long the cons are that you will gradually become stiff and overworked to your other leg. The Pros are that you injured heel will hopefully have a chance to gradually heal!
- Our favorite fracture boots and their supplies:
Offloading and Scooter treatment:
- These are favorite knee scooters and walking devices:
6 Common Causes of Heel Pain:
- It is said that 10-40% of people in the world will have chronic heel pain.
- 93% of that is said to be plantar fasciitis.
- This is the most common cause of heel pain in the world.
- It is said that 44% of all foot clinic visits are related to a combination of plantar fasciitis.
- If you have bottom of the foot and heel pain during the morning, this is likely plantar fasciitis!
- This usually gets better after 10-20 morning steps, but then hurts the next morning.
- This is most common cause of pain in the back of the heel. It is possible to develop heel spur and rest soreness at the site the Achilles tendon inserts.
- It is also possible to have it about 2 to 6 cm above the heel bone (This is called middle of the Achilles tendon pain).
- It is also possible to strain the actual calf muscle, but at this point is not Achilles tendinitis not heel pain.
- This is perhaps the most important ended in the body in terms of bearing weight.
- Common in older people, common and those have had steroid injections, it is thought that he can start at 40 but it does continue on later in life.
- We see this most commonly is much older people such as 60s, 70s, 80s and higher.
- If you are younger, it is very unlikely that this is your problem.
- This is usually achy, burning pain that gets worse during the day.
- This is a very common condition that we see overall, and it does need to be treated effectively!
- This is increased pain while you are bearing weight.
- These are typical during running sports and repetitive shocked heel.
- It is tested by checking side to side squeeze of the heel bone.
- The calcaneal squeeze test is a very important test in confirming that heel stress fracture.
- Click on the above link to make sure this is not your problem!
5) Radiculopathy (Back Pain):
- If you have ever had a back injury or nerve injury to your spine, it is very possible that you may have radiculopathy pain.
- This can cause numbness, burning and tingling type pain.
- We see this very commonly in people who have soreness and pain to both feet.
- If you have a prior back injury or surgery, this may be your problem.
- Baxter’s nerve compression and entrapment is not the most common cause of heel nerve pain.
- Some sources even say Baxter’s nerve compression can be involved in up to 20% of heel pain cases!
- This can result in more night time pain, as well as pain during rest.
- If you have numbness, burning and tingling it may be a Baxter’s pinched nerve in the heel!