Symptoms and Diagnostic
Plantar fasciitis, the most common cause of heel pain, may have several different clinical presentations.
Although pain may occur along the entire course of the plantar fascia, it is usually limited to the inferior medial aspect of the calcaneus, at the medial process of the calcaneal tubercle. This bony prominence serves as the point of origin of the anatomic central band of the plantar fascia and the abductor hallucis, flexor digitorum brevis and abductor digiti minimi muscles.
Patients usually describe pain in the heel on taking the first several steps in the morning, with the symptoms lessening as walking continues. They frequently relate that the pain is localized to an area that the examiner identifies as the medial calcaneal tubercle. The pain is usually insidious, with no history of acute trauma. Many patients state that they believe the condition to be the result of a stone bruise or a recent increase in daily activity. It is not unusual for a patient to endure the symptoms and try to relieve them with home remedies for many years before seeking medical treatment.
Even in this age of modern technology, the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is based mainly on the medical history and clinical presentation. Direct palpation of the medial calcaneal tubercle often causes severe pain (Figure 1). The pain is generally localized at the origin of the anatomic central band of the plantar fascia, with no significant pain on compression of the calcaneus from a medial to a lateral direction. Standard weight-bearing radiographs in the lateral and anteroposterior projection demonstrate the biomechanical character of the hindfoot and forefoot, and may show other osseous abnormalities such as fractures, tumors or rheumatoid arthritis in the calcaneus. However, radiographs usually serve only as an aid to confirm the clinician's diagnosis.
RIVERA FOOT & ANKLE: At Orlando H.Rivera DPM, our priority is to deliver quality care to informed patients in a comfortable and convenient setting. When you have problems with your feet, you need to turn to a podiatrist who listens and responds… an experienced doctor who knows the field and can effectively diagnose and treat your needs… a friendly physician who counsels you on the best ways to maintain and improve your health. Our physician(s) meet all these criteria. Plus, you benefit from a dedicated team of trained professionals who give you the individualized attention you deserve.
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