The plantar fascia is the largest ligament in the foot. Inflammation of the fascia leads to a condition called plantar fasciitis, which is a common cause of heel pain. When patients say they heard or felt a pop in the arch they most likely ruptured the plantar fascia and may have pain in the arch or in the heel. A popping noise is a good indication that something has torn. X-rays should be taken to rule out a fracture. Sometimes the tendon can avulse a piece of bone as it ruptures. An MRI should also be ordered to identify which tendon ruptured and if it was a partial or complete tear.
In general, a plantar fascia tear is treated with immobilization in either a cast or walking boot until the rupture heals. Physical therapy and a custom orthotics will be beneficial in the healing process. Surgery is rarely needed to repair a ruptured plantar fascia. Plasma rich platelet injections are an advanced biological treatment that is used to improve the overall healing quality and time.
It is important to avoid steroid shots near a tendon once it has been ruptured and to avoid certain antibiotics such as flouroquinalones that are associated with risks of tendon ruptures.
If you have recently heard a pop in your foot and are experiencing pain, come see us at Foot & Ankle Doctors, Inc.