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Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic

Is there a Cure for Chronic, Degenerative Heel Pain?

"Hi, this is Dr. Silvester and I want to talk to you a little bit about chronic heel pain. We have lots of patients who come into our office every week with heel pain. In fact, it’s probably one of the most common things we see. There’s been a lot of debate about when heel pain becomes chronic, but generally about 3 months. If you’ve had heel pain for 3 months, then the condition is changing from an inflammatory problem to a degenerative problem.   It’s where the plantar fascia is starting to break down and not be able to heal itself. 
 
What happens is that the body, you go to the doctor’s office and they say, “Okay, well I’ll give you some anti-inflammatory medication, or I’ll give you some arch supports, or I’ll give you a steroid injection.” All of those are geared towards taking the inflammation down by giving the ligament a rest, and sometimes what it needs is something to kick it into gear to heal. It’s not that it needs an anti-inflammatory effect because the truth is, every time they biopsy people who have had heel pain for a long time, it’s never inflammatory, it’s always degenerative. Giving anti-inflammatories might make it feel better because they have a pain amelioration effect, they can make the pain a little better, but they really don’t cure the problem. 
 
Curing the problem involves doing some things that are a little more geared towards restoring the tissue to a healing state rather than a degenerative state. There’s a couple of tools that you can do that with. 
 
One is shockwave therapy, which is very effective. We have an EPAT machine, it’s from Stores Medical, it’s very good at curing plantar fasciitis that’s been there for a long time. It has about an 80-90% success rate. It’s actually probably the most common treatment for heel pain in Europe. 
 
The second is to do AmnioFix injections. It’s a derivative of the the lining of the placenta, the amnion and the chorion, inside the mother’s womb. An interesting thing about that, you may not know, but if you take a baby inside his mother’s tummy and you were to cut its tendon, it would heal as a tendon, it would not heal as scar tissue. The environment in a mother’s womb is probably the best healing environment on the planet. We take these chemicals from a mother and then we inject them into the tissue to try to restore the tissue to a healing process. 
 
Then there are some other things that you can do, like minimally invasive surgery can restore the tissue to a healing environment so that the tissue can go on and restore itself. 
 
If you have chronic heel pain, consider us to come in and discuss the options. Don’t be discouraged. I had a lady today, just a few minutes ago, she’s had pain for a year, and she had been seeing other doctors and just hasn’t gotten anywhere because they’re treating it as an inflammatory process. It’s very common that people suffer with this for a long time and you do not have to. We can take care of it and get you on the path to healing with the right therapies addressed to your particular problem. Thanks for listening!"