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Fox Podiatry
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Anyone who is a basketball fan has heard about the Los Angeles Laker's Pau Gasol's most recent injury, a tear of his plantar fascia.  So, what does this mean and how can someone recover from this?

The plantar fascia is a band of thick tendon like tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the balls of the feet to the heel bone.  When we walk, it becomes stressed and it stretches just like any tendon.  When greater forces are applied to the plantar fascia such as athletic activity or trauma, the plantar fascia can become over stretched and can tear.  

While it can tear, the majority of plantar fascia tears are partial or incomplete tears that usually occur near the heel bone.  These can be very painful because the first part of our foot that contacts the ground while walking is our heel.  After the tear occurs swelling and inflammation enter the plantar fascia causing internal pain.  

While a partial tear is the most common type of plantar fascia tear, a complete tear can happen but they are very rare.  Treatment for any pain to the plantar fascia is simple; rest, ice, elevation, and immobilization.  The heel can be immobilized by using a cast with crutches, an airboot with crutches, or using the airboot to walk.  The pain to the heel can be so intense that crutches might be the only treatment that makes it feel better.  Healing time typically ranges from 4-8 weeks depending on a person's height, weight, and activity level.

Although some may suggest surgery, it is indicated in less than 1% of all injuries to the plantar fascia.  A very effective treatment to incorporate with rest and immobilization is PRP injections or Platelet Rich Plasma.  This is a relatively new procedure where blood is taken from your arm and spun down in a centrifuge separating the layers of blood.  The platelet layer of your blood which has growth factors and stem cells is then injected back into the plantar fascia increasing the healing time of the plantar fascia tear.  Call and ask for more information.

Fox Podiatry Leading the Fight On Toe Nail Fungus

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