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 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?
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.