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Surgeries and Procedures

Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy (EPF)

Risks and Complications of EPF:

  • Infection

  • Slow healing

  • An ache on the outside of the foot

  • Nerve entrapment

  • Return of symptoms

EPF is one of the surgeries used to treat chronic strain of the plantar fascia. If this ligament-like band that runs along the bottom of your foot is inflamed, you're likely to have pain on the inside of your foot, where the arch and heel meet. EPF is an outpatient procedure. It takes about an hour to perform, and may be done at a hospital, a same-day surgical facility, or in your doctor's office.

Three health care providers in surgical gowns, masks, and gloves performing foot surgery.

Before Your Surgery:

  • Do not eat or drink for eight hours before surgery.

  • If you take daily medication, ask if that should be stopped as well.

  • At the facility, you'll be given consent forms to sign. Your temperature and blood pressure will be checked, and you may be trained in how to use crutches.

  • It's normal to feel a little nervous before surgery. If you are very worried, you may be given a sedative to help you relax.

Your Anesthesia

You may be given general anesthesia to make you sleep during the procedure. If IV (intravenous) sedation and a local anesthetic are used, you will be awake, but drowsy and relaxed, during surgery.

During the Procedure

Your doctor makes one or two incisions. These incisions are less than one-half inch long. They may be on each side of the heel or both on one side of the foot. Next, a special scope and camera are slipped under the fascia. This allows your doctor to watch the procedure on a nearby monitor. Your doctor then cuts part of the fascia near the heel bone. If you are awake, you may hear people talking and feel pressure. You should not feel pain. Tell your doctor if you do.

Publication Source: Barrett SL, Day SV. Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy: two portal endoscopic surgical technique - clinical results of 65 procedures. Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery. 1993;32:248-256.
Publication Source: Barrett SL, O'Malley R. Plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel pain. American Family Physician. 1999;59(8):2200-2206.
Publication Source: Barrett SL. Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy for chronic plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome: surgical technique - early clinical results. 1991.
Publication Source: Barrett SL. Endoscopic plastic surgery. New York: Springer Verlag; 1996.
Online Medical Reviewer: Barrus, Bryan, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Mitchell, Bryan Sean, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 2/27/2012
Date Last Modified: 6/23/2003
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