For Matthew Solan & James Davis at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital and OneWelbeck

For Martin Klinke at London Bridge, Cromwell Hospital, Chiswick Outpatients, New Victoria Hospital, HCA Canary Wharf Clinic & One Welbeck

Heel Pain Surgery


Heel pain is one of the most common foot and ankle problems, affecting approximately 1 in 10 people at some point during their lifetime.

For many, rest, stretching and orthotic supports can resolve the problem. Our heel pain clinic is designed for people with intractable heel pain, which has persisted for several months and does not respond to these conservative measures.

“The initial assessment must be very accurate to ensure the treatment selected will be effective. We listen carefully to the patient – if they describe their heel pain as feeling like hot coal and their calf is extremely tight, we cannot expect shockwave therapy or injections to work. It would be like a boy Scout throwing a small bucket of water on a large fire.”

The next step in heel pain treatment for most people is extracorporeal shockwave therapy or injections, depending upon the type of heel pain you have. Your heel pain may be due to plantar fasciitis or to Achilles tendinopathy. However, a smaller group will require heel pain surgery in order to achieve effective treatment for plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinopathy.

Who needs Heel Pain Surgery?

“If you imagine the lower leg like a rasher of bacon, the calf muscle has a rind. You can only stretch the bacon itself so far because the rind remains tight and limits flexibility. If we carefully cut the rind the rasher can be stretched further. In real life the gap in the “rind” fills with scar tissue – but the rind is then longer. Surgical calf stretching is a way of stretching the tight calf muscle in a very controlled way and allow release of strain from the affected heel area.”

Some people will require heel pain surgery because they have extremely tight calf muscles, which is the root cause of their heel pain.

If you have severely tight calf muscles, this pulls your heel upwards, into the same position your foot is in if you wear heels. This means that your tendons are constantly tightened and not able to relax and over time, this causes pain and damage.

How does it work?

Heel pain surgery is a procedure designed to release tight calf muscles and is known medically as gastrocnemius release. The procedure is a short operation, normally carried out as a day case, with the surgeon making a small incision behind the knee to access the calf muscle. The area where the cut is made quickly heals.

“Surgical calf stretching is a way of stretching the tight calf muscle in a very controlled way to allow release of strain from the affected heel area,” explains Mr Solan.

Patients are normally able to return home on the same day and resume normal activities within weeks.

How long will it take to recover from Heel Pain Surgery?

If calf release surgery is your recommended treatment for heel pain, your surgery will be undertaken by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Matthew Solan of the London Foot and Ankle Centre.

Mr Solan specialises in the treatment of intractable heel pain and is the most experienced UK surgeon in the calf release procedure, having undertaken and audited more than 100 cases and published in major international guides.

Book an Appointment

Please call us or email us to arrange an appointment today. While we endeavour to answer all email enquiries as soon as possible, we encourage patients to telephone us should they require an immediate response.

    Consultant Surgeons

    Our specialist team at the London Foot and Ankle Centre is comprised of five consultant orthopaedic surgeons, focusing entirely upon the foot and ankle.

    LFAC Canary Wharf Clinic

    LFAC’s Martin Klinke opens a new clinic in Canary Wharf from 9th July. 

    Call 0207 403 4162 for an appointment