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Question
Posted by: Eze | 2009-09-02

Cryosurgery for Plantar Fasciitis

Dear Doc.
I have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis 3 years ago. Since then I’ ve undergone many different treatments ranging from chiropractic treatment, specially fitted insoles, acupuncture, the many stretching exercising and icing of the feet, and even hypnosis to get rid of the pain. The acupuncture provided some pain relief but it was only temporary. Nothing else helped. My more recent treatments (last year) were many cortisone injections and thereafter surgery (partial fascia release), performed by a very reputable orthopaedic surgeon. I still have no success. Thereafter I tried Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT). Surprisingly enough it helped a great deal and coupled with the strengthening exercise that was suggested to me (curling the toes inwards while standing), I am about 70% healed. I still however find it difficult to run and my feet pains after long walks. This was almost a year ago and I feel I need something more to get back to 100%. I know I have exhausted the various remedies for plantar fasciitis and don’ t know what else to try. I have heard of CRYOSURGERY being used in the USA for successfully treating this condition. Do you have any experience with this method or can you refer me to someone you may know.
Many thanks.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Eze

Cryosurgery for plantar fasciitis is a relatively new procedure and the results are quite mixed. It certainly sounds to me that you have tried everything else without complete healing of the condition. I have no experience of this procedure and know of no surgeons who are doing it in my area (Cape Town). The reading I have done about it suggests that it is minimally invasive with few side effects and potentially lots of advantages over other treatments. My advice would be to try it out but only if you find a reputable orthopaedic surgeon with plenty of experience of this procedure. Also, it seems best results are when the surgeon uses the cryo probe with ultra sound guidance to correctly target the area otherwise it could be a bit hit and miss.

Regards
Chris

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