Hindfoot arthritis encompasses three joints, the subtalar joint, talonavicular joint and calcaneocuboid joint. Post-traumatic arthritis is a common cause of hind foot arthritis but can be caused by inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis. First line of treatment is conservative to include brace, orthotics, modified shoes & activities, and injections. However, hind foot arthritis tends to progress with time and activity. The standard of care is typically fusion. Dr. Kim uses stem cells, titanium screws with variated pitches on the threads, compression plates and NiTinol staples. Regardless of the fixation, Dr. Kim has a successful track record with his fusion procedures and approaches each individual with a tailored plan specific toward the individuals anatomy and pathology.

Plantar fasciitis is a prevalent cause of heel pain. Its caused by multiple factors but ultimately caused by inflammation of the fascia at its origin on the heel bone (i.e., calcaneus). The plantar fascia is a tight non-elastic band of tissue on the bottom of the foot that helps elevate the arch, anatomically, it’s a continuation of the Achilles tendon as it wraps around the heel and continues as the plantar fascia on foot. To feel your plantar fascia take one hand and bend the big toe up and use the other hand to feel the arch, as you move the toe up and down, you will feel the plantar fascia tense and relax. With that said, other causes of heel pain can be things such as fractures, tendon tears or inflammation, or even arthritis in the subtalar joint.

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Do I need to see someone for my heel pain?

If the heel pain is most prominent with the 1st step out of bed, and continues to improve with stretching its likely plantar fasciitis and resolves with arch supports; good calf stretching and sometimes physical therapy. Usually, recalcitrant heel pain should be seen and evaluated.

What should I expect during my visit?

I usually get x-rays to see if there are any fractures or other potential causes of the heel pain. After I review the images, I perform a thorough foot & ankle exam. For chronic plantar fasciitis, I commonly obtain an MRI to evaluate for other potential causes of chronic heel pain such as neuritis, heel spur or recurrent stress fractures.

What is the typical healing period for acute plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis usually is self-limiting but can even last up to a year. Hopefully, you don’t suffer with it for that long, but if it persists beyond three months, it’s worthwhile to get it checked out.

Bay Area Heel Pain Doctor

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