Surgery should be considered for plantar heel pain only after all other treatment options have been tried, and the pain is causing a significant impact on quality of life. However, there is no high quality evidence that surgery is effective for plantar heel pain.


There are numerous procedures that can be performed to improve plantar heel pain. It is important you discuss your goals with your surgeon. A common procedure is lengthening of the plantar fascia, where the surgeon will place a number of slits in the plantar fascia through a small incision in the bottom of the foot.


When undergoing surgery, there a a number of risks to be aware of. These include:

  1. Infection – because the skin barrier is broken it is possible you could get an infection.
  2. Pain in other regions of the foot – depending on the type of surgery, the structure of your foot may change, and there may be an increase in stress on other tissue
  3. Ineffective – the surgery might not provide any relief or it might be associated with a worsening of symptoms

Evidence summary

There is no high quality evidence that supports surgery for plantar heel pain.