Plantar Fascia Release

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Surgery Overview

Plantar fascia release surgery involves cutting part of the plantar fascia ligament to release tension on the ligament. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on. Plantar fascia release can be done by cutting the area (open surgery) or by inserting instruments through small incisions (endoscopic surgery).

What To Expect

If you have endoscopic surgery, you may be able to do limited weight-bearing soon after surgery. You may also begin wearing normal shoes again as soon as it is comfortable. Most people return to their normal activities in 3 to 6 weeks.

If you have traditional open surgery, you may wear a non-weight-bearing cast or walking boot for 2 to 3 weeks after surgery to allow tissues to heal. It will take longer to return to normal activities with this type of surgery.

Physical therapy may be recommended after surgery. This will help you with gradual strength, flexibility, and range of motion as you heal.

Why It Is Done

Surgery is rarely needed for people with plantar fasciitis. Generally, your doctor may recommend surgery if you continue to have severe symptoms after 6 to 12 months of home and other nonsurgical treatment.

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How Well It Works

Plantar fascia release surgery may be an option if you have tried home treatment for at least 6 months. There isn't enough evidence for experts to say how well this surgery works. footnote 1


Risks of plantar fascia release include:

  • Nerve problems, including nerve entrapment or tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • Recurring heel pain.
  • Neuroma, a benign tumor made of nerve cells and nerve fibers.
  • Delayed wound healing.
  • Infection.
  • Risks of anesthesia.
  • Possibility that symptoms could get worse after surgery (rare).



  1. MacRae CS, et al. (2022). What is the evidence for efficacy, effectiveness and safety of surgical interventions for plantar fasciopathy? A systematic review. PloS One, 17(5): e0268512. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0268512. Accessed May 8, 2023.


Current as of: July 17, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.