What can I do if a doctor made a mistake while operating on my heel?
Many have heard of the ailment “heel spur” but don’t really know what it is. A bone spur in the heel develops when the ligament in the arch of the foot, the plantar fascia, is stretched causing significant pain. There are a number of ways to treat heel spurs, including cortisone shots and the use of corrective orthotics. When these methods fail to relieve the pain, however, surgery may be necessary.
Heel Spur Surgery Then and Now
In the past, surgery was designed to remove the bone spur by making an incision on the side or the bottom the heal. The surgeon would feel for the plantar fascia, cut it from the bone, and excise the spur. This method required a long healing period, and many patients continued to experience pain after the surgery. Today, it is more common for podiatric surgeons to perform a Endoscopic Plantar Fascial Release, a procedure that is similar to arthroscopic surgery.
The endoscopic approach involves making a small incision on the side of the heel, placing a thin tube in the incision, and then inserting an arthroscopic camera into the tube which allows the surgeon to see the ligament and better control of the degree of cut that is required. In some cases, depending on the preference and skill of the surgeon, the spur is also removed,. The surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis after which the patient is placed in a post operative shoe or cast.
What are the complications?
While endoscopic heal spur surgery is said to have a high success rate, there can always be complications, as is the case with any surgical procedure. There is a risk of infection, and some patients may continue to experience pain either because the ligament was not completely cut or there is a damaged or pinched nerve in the heel. In these cases, it is crucial to determine whether the surgeon made a mistake during the surgery, or if the procedure was unnecessary. If you were injured because a podiatric surgeon’s failure to provide the appropriate standard of care, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit based on medical negligence.