Dr. Stephen Barrett has been recognized as a leader and pioneer in the study and treatment of Heel Pain. He is the inventor of two leading surgical techniques; endoscopic plantar fasciotomy (EPF) and ultrasound guided partial plantar fasciectomy (USGPPF).

In most cases, “heel pain” is a result of degeneration of the tissue of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue stretching from the heel to the toes that supports the arch of the foot. This is called “planar fasciitis,” or more accurately, “plantar fasciopathy.” Plantar fasciopathy is best evaluated using advanced diagnostic ultrasound methods, which can “stage” and “grade” the condition, which in turn helps your doctor choose the treatments that will have the most success.

However, heel pain can also result from other factors, including nerve damage. These factors can be the sole cause or exist in conjunction with plantar fasciopathy.

The latest research shows that most traditional and conservative treatment options are simply not effective in treating heel pain.

In early stages, conservative treatments, such as orthotics and stretching, may be effective. However, if you have tried orthotics, injections, special shoes, stretching, or any similar therapies and have not had significant relief or long-lasting relief, you are not alone.

USGPPF is a minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of moderate to severe plantar fasciopathy. The USGPPF procedure consists of two key elements; debridement (removal) of the diseased tissue and the introduction of amniotic tissue, which contains growth factors and amniotic stem cells, to help promote the growth of new, healthy tissue. This procedure has been used clinically for more than a decade and has a success rate of 92% good or excellent results.

The procedure is so minimally invasive, your incision will be covered with a standard adhesive bandage. Most patients will be up and walking almost immediately following the procedure.

To learn more about the cause of Heel Pain or to have your heel pain evaluated by our experts, book an evaluation appointment today!

Ultrasound Guided Delivery of Stem Cells into the Plantar Fascia

What is the best way to treat Heel Pain?

Heel pain in the world is endemic, and the numbers of patients suffering from this condition are increasing every year.  Unfortunately, many cases of heel pain are either improperly diagnosed, or under diagnosed. In order for the optimal treatment of heel pain to be achieved, an extremely accurate diagnosis must be made.  This is done primarily by objective imaging with sonography, and a very thorough physical examination.  Most cases of heel pain are caused by a problem with the plantar fascia, and some sources estimate this to be as high as 93% of the time.  However, many cases of heel pain are caused by more than one pain generator, where nerve both the nerve and the fascia are involved.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is actually a misnomer, or bad name, that was given to the condition before it was really understood.  Since 2003, this condition is known to be degenerative, and not caused by inflammation.  The proper name should be plantar fasciopathy.

Because this is a degenerative condition, it can be effectively treated with stem cell technology with a procedure that is known as USGPPF (ultrasound guided partial plantar fasciectomy).

All plantar fasciopathy is not the same!

Just like with almost any other type of disease or pathology no one case is the same as another.  Because we implemented protocols that emphasize accurate diagnosis and staging and grading of the condition, we are able to customize specific treatment plans for the patient based on their actual condition. As we can see in the 2 photos below, the plantar fascia is normal on the left, and very abnormal on the right.

normal fascia
abnormal fascia

You can click the button below which will give you a quick test to see what the likelihood is that you have a problem simply with the plantar fascia, or with a nerve entrapment, or both.

Stem Cell Treatment for Heel Pain

Dr. Barrett was one of the first physicians in the United States to begin treating plantar fascia with platelet rich plasma, sometimes referred to as PRP.  After more than 10 years of experience with that procedure, stem cells became available, and this has improved the efficacy of the technique.  As we can see in the video, the plantar fascia can be treated with only a needle type procedure.

This picture below shows how the plantar fascia has regenerated after minimally invasive treatment with stem cells:

Endoscopic Plantar Fasciotomy

Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy was developed in 1990, by Dr. Barrett, and more than 1 million EPF procedures have been performed throughout the world to date. EPF is a surgical technique that provides the experienced surgeon a very high level of success for the treatment of recalcitrant plantar fasciopathy.