When conservative measures don't work to alleviate heel spur pain, your podiatrist might recommend endoscopic surgery -- endo: meaning the end of, and scopic: meaning to look at.
Endoscopic surgery utilizes an instrument that looks at the end of a closed space. When endoscopic surgery is used on the foot, it usually deals with the plantar fascia -- plantar: meaning the bottom of, and fascia: the thick ligament that runs from the back of the heel to the front of the foot.
The plantar fascia is a commonly inflamed structure associated with heel spurs. When an endoscopic procedure is performed to lengthen or cut the plantar fascia, a portal of entry into the foot from the side is created, either medial (inside) or lateral (outside), to expose the plantar fascia.
This procedure involves a much smaller incision than traditional surgeries and is much more precise. The post-operative period of time in healing is also reduced, as well as the pain.
Plantar fasciotomy via endoscopic technique is a very effective procedure when all other conservative measures, such as: arch supports, orthotics, padding, medications, physical therapy, etc., have been used. This procedure can usually be performed under local block anaesthesia and rarely is general anesthetic necessary.
Recovery time following heel spur surgery is usually in the range of three weeks. Most surgeons recommend a post-operative walking boot and immediate ambulation is usually possible.