Plantar Fascia Rupture

Even strong substances can snap under sufficient pressure. Cables supporting too much weight can sometimes manage for a little while; over time, however, the constant strain takes a toll. Eventually the cable could snap—especially if even a little force is added to the already stressed supporter. Your body’s “cables,” your connective tissues, also have limits. Too much force can tear them, leading to immobilizing and painful problems, like a plantar fascia rupture.

Ripping a Ligament

The plantar fascia is the thick, fibrous, elastic ligament that runs along the sole of your foot, connecting your heel to your metatarsal bones. It helps support the shape of the arch, absorbs shock when you take a step, and protects the tendons, muscles, and nerves in your sole. If the pull on the plantar fascia exceeds it elasticity, a partial or complete tear can occur.  A plantar fascia tear is a serious, painful injury that needs to be addressed in a timely fashion.

A plantar fascia rupture caused immediate, sharp pain in the heel and the arch of the foot.  An injured athlete often feels a ‘pop’ when the injury occurs. Frequently you’ll have bruising around the painful area. The tear can be the result of a chronic overuse of the fascia.  It can also be caused by excessive stress, like that experienced by an offensive lineman as he is pushing his defensive counterpart back from the line of scrimmage, or from blatant trauma.

Diagnosing the Tear

In addition to documenting the patient’s history, the doctors at Country Foot Care use state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging, such as diagnostic ultrasound, to view the tear. If a tear cannot be confirmed, an MRI to confirm the diagnosis may be needed.

Restoring the Sole

Most plantar fascia ruptures only tear part of the fascia and can be treated using conservative measures.  R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation) should be employed immediately after the injury can reduce swelling and inflammation at the injury site. It may also be necessary to immobilize the foot in a cast to let the injury heal.

A comprehensive rehabilitation plan including weeks of physical therapy, stretching and muscle strengthening exercises are needed.It is imperative that custom orthotics be fabricated and worn by the patient.  By using the orthotics, the arch will be supported while the pull on the plantar fascia will be reduced as the patient walks, runs or stands. A complete plantar fascia tear will make it impossible to stand on the injured foot. After a period of immobilization, surgical intervention may be needed to repair the plantar fascia

If you are feeling pain that leads you to believe you might have injured the plantar fascia in either of your feet, you should cease all activities and have your feet examined so that a proper diagnosis and course of treatment can be defined.  The well-trained doctors of Country Foot Care are available to provide you state-of-the-art medicine with good, old-fashioned caring.  For your convenience, you can make an appointment through this site using the MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.  Or, if you would prefer, you can call us during regular office hours and speak with our helpful and knowledgeable staff.