A heel spur is bony growth on the bottom of your heel bone (the "calcaneus").
It was thought that heel pain, usually more severe in the morning, was due to the bony spur. Current thinking is that the pain is from the pulling of the tissues attached to the bone (the "plantar fascia"). Surgery to cure this kind of heel pain is usually aimed at releasing part of the plantar fascia from the heel bone. This can now be done endoscopically or by the traditional "open surgery" where an incision is made.
For this condition, it is crucial for the podiatrist to try all non-surgical treatments before suggesting surgery. The reason for this is that is known that non-surgical treatment can eliminate much of the pain in many patients. In this case, surgery would not be needed. It is so important to try all non-surgical treatment that many insurance companies will not pay for heel spur surgery without the podiatrist first proving he or she gave the patient all of the non-surgical treatments.
Malpractice in this area usually involves not trying all treatments before surgery. Or, it can involve injury to parts of the inside of the foot due to carelessness or inexperience. Nerve injuries are common. Sometimes the podiatrist mistakenly cuts more of the plantar fascia than what is intended.
The podiatrist cannot, and should not, guarantee that your heel pain will be better after surgery. However, if your pain is worse after surgery, your podiatrist should find out why and not simply tell you that "these things happen." We find that after a thorough investigation it turns out that for those who are worse after surgery, a mistake was made during surgery.
The Law Firm of Lawrence M. Karam, P.C., is not affiliated with Lance Ehrenberg, Esq., or any other law firm.