Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy (EPF)

Woman lying in hospital bed while nurse checks IV.

EPF is one of the surgeries used to treat chronic strain of the plantar fascia. If this ligament-like band that runs along the bottom of your foot is inflamed, you're likely to have pain on the inside of your foot, where the arch and heel meet. EPF is an outpatient procedure. It takes about an hour to do.It may be done at a hospital, a same-day surgical facility, or in your healthcare provider's office.

Before your surgery

Follow these instructions before surgery:

  • Do not eat or drink for 8 hours before surgery.

  • If you take daily medicine, ask if that should be stopped as well.

  • At the facility, you'll be given consent forms to sign. Your temperature and blood pressure will be checked.You may also be trained in how to use crutches.

  • It's normal to feel a little nervous before surgery. If you are very worried, you may be given a sedative to help you relax.

Your anesthesia

You may be given general anesthesia to make you sleep during the procedure. If IV (intravenous) sedation and a local anesthetic are used, you will be awake during surgery.But you will be drowsy and relaxed.

During the procedure

Your healthcare provider makes 1 or 2 incisions. These incisions are less than 1/2 inch long. They may be on each side of the heel or both on one side of the foot. Next, a special scope and camera are slipped under the fascia. This lets your healthcare provider watch the procedure on a nearby monitor. Your healthcare provider then cuts part of the fascia near the heel bone. If you are awake, you may hear people talking and feel pressure. You should not feel pain. Tell your healthcare provider if you do.

Risks and complications of EPF

Risks and complications include:

  • Infection

  • Slow healing

  • An ache on the outside of the foot

  • Nerve entrapment

  • Return of symptoms