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Chiropractic Research Review

Chiropractic Effective in Reducing Postsurgical Lateral Foot Pain

Heel pain is a common disorder in the U.S., often linked to changes in the plantar fascia. While conservative therapies are useful in reducing heel pain, plantar fasciotomy may be performed when these methods fail to provide adequate relief.

In some instances, however, plantar fasciotomy may lead to changes in weight distribution and abnormal weight bearing on the lateral joints, resulting in pain in the lateral column of the foot.

The present study comprised a retrospective review of the outcomes of 15 patients seen in a multidisciplinary office setting, all of whom had undergone plantar fasciotomy within the previous nine months, and who had developed lateral foot pain following surgery. Each patient received manual therapy from a licensed doctor of chiropractic, consisting of low-velocity and high-amplitude grade III/IV mobilization of the affected joints, ankle and midfoot articulations, and/or high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation along with stretching of the plantar fascia. Each patient was treated once per week for between two and eight visits over a two- to eight-week period. Patients also were asked to perform full-ankle and foot range-of-motion exercises three times per day for the entire length of the treatment regimen.

Results: Eleven patients reported "significant pain relief" within eight weeks, while three experienced "moderate improvement." No long-lasting complications were associated with any of the procedures, although a pattern of transient pain migration over the dorsum of the foot into the ankle was noted in nine patients, which resolved by the time of patient discharge.

Wyatt LH. Conservative chiropractic management of recalcitrant foot pain after fasciotomy: a retrospective case review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2006;29(5):398-402.

Chiropractic Research Review

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