Indication, surgical technique and results of endoscopic fascial release in plantar fasciitis (E FRPF).
The purpose of the present study is to present the surgical technique for, and review our indications and results after, endoscopic fascial release in patients with plantar fasciitis. In five thiel-embalmed human specimens, a biportal technique for endoscopic release of the plantar fascia was established. The aim was here to evaluate the relation between the plantar fascia and the heel spur and to perform a release that would not exceed 50-70% of the diameter of the calcaneoplantar fascia. The endoscopic technique was performed within the last 5 years in ten male and seven female patients. All patients with the clinical entity of plantar fasciitis underwent conservative treatment for at least 6 months. The average age at surgery was 35 years (24-56 years). In the first five patients, surgery was performed under c-arm control. In all patients the operation could be finished endoscopically. The endoscopic portals healed without complications. The time for surgery during the learning curve ranged between 21 and 74 min (average 41 min) and was still longer compared to the open technique. The clinical follow-up ranged between 4 and 48 months (average 18.5 months). Out of 17 patients, 13 improved clinically, and they would choose the treatment option again. In the Ogilvie-Harris score, seven patients showed good and six excellent results. In two patients, the initial results were not satisfactory, because of a bony stress reaction of the calcaneus. This complication was treated by 6 weeks of partial weight bearing, without any further problems. Two other patients developed secondary pain in the lateral column. In spite of the minimal invasive approach it seems to be important to be careful in increasing the weight bearing in early rehabilitation. The technique of the endoscopic plantar fascia release (E FRPF) can be performed in a standardised and reproducible procedure. The follow-up examination showed good midterm results, but a loss of stability of the plantar arch has to be strictly avoided.
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