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Advanced Heel Pain Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Goldstein Office 6New Treatment for Heel Spur Pain and Plantar Fascitiis

A new technique utilizing radiofrequency has been developed to cure heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Radiofrequency is a form of electromagnetic energy that has been utilized by physicians to eliminate pain for over 50 years. Historically, it was applied to low back and neck pain. Today, it is used in many specialties including neurosurgery, otolaryngology, vascular surgery, and orthopedics.

 

How Is This Procedure Different?

Radiofrequency lesioning does not require any incisions or stitches. No cutting of the ligament (fascia) or skin is performed. The postoperative healing time is dramatically reduced and most of the time prescription pain medication is not needed after the procedure. Many of the other complications associated with other surgical procedures do not apply to radiofrequency. Dr. Goldstein is proud to bring this advanced, unique treatment to Gardner, Kansas.

 

Am I a Candidate for This Procedure?

There are many different reasons for heel pain.  Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are 2 of the most common. Sometimes there is a pinched nerve or an arthritic condition that causes the pain.  X-rays and ultrasound are two common ways to diagnose the specific cause of the heel pain.  Sometimes a nerve conduction study or MRI may be necessary.  If a patient has failed to obtain complete relief of heel pain symptoms with the use of conservative treatment such as taping, orthotics, cortisone injections, oral medications, or physical therapy, then you may benefit from radiofrequency lesioning.  This procedure is most effective for treating plantar fasciitis and heel pain due to nerve entrapment.  It can also be effective for a condition called, heel bursitis.  A review of the patient’s medical history and current health status will help determine if this is the best form of treatment.

 

How Is the Technique Performed?

In the office, under local anesthesia, electrodes are placed through the skin of the heel in the areas where the most pain is experienced. Usually this entails four to five separate locations. Ultrasound imaging is sometimes used to confirm proper placement of the electrodes. The electrodes are the shape and size of regular injection needles. These electrodes are attached to a radiofrequency generator-wire that conducts an electrical radiofrequency current. The radiofrequency is sent into the foot, one electrode at a time, and concentrated in the areas of the most pain. Nerve endings are deadened in the specific locations, thus eliminating the pain. This procedure is not acupuncture. It is an accepted, proven, and researched medical technique performed by a licensed podiatric surgeon for the treatment of chronic heel pain.

 

Is This Procedure Painful?

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and afterwards pain medication is usually not necessary. The patient is usually able to resume work the day following the procedure and full activities in two or three days. In most instances, complete resolution of the pain is achieved within two weeks.

 

What Is the Success Rate of This Procedure?

This procedure has demonstrated a 90% success rate treating heel pain with radiofrequency. The results have been published in the journal foot and ankle surgery, Vol. 36, No. 3 in 1997. Another study in 2009 revealed 92% of patients found the results of the procedure very successful or completely successful for their plantar fasciitis. In a study done in 2010, patients who underwent the radiofrequency procedure for heel pain were given a questionnaire about their results. Five years after their procedure, all of them said they would have the procedure again or recommend it to a friend. The study found 89% of the patients still pain free from plantar fasciitis after 12 years!

 

Are the Results of Radiofrequency Permanent?

Yes. The results are permanent in approximately 90% of the patients who are treated with radiofrequency for heel pain.

 

Is This Procedure Covered by Health Insurance?

The procedure billing code for radiofrequency lesioning for heel pain is a standard billing code. Many health insurance plans do cover the procedure. When there are no insurance benefits for the procedure, a very reasonable fee is charged. A no-interest fee, payment plan can be arranged in this situation. A pre-determination will be made with the patient’s insurance company regarding the specific coverage.

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