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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Having sharp pain in heel and keeps moving. What could be the cause?

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Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement

Practicing since :1996

Answered : 2148 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 9 Dec 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I am having this sharp pain in my right heel and it keeps on moving and it seems like not in bone but on sides of my heel. It feels like someone is piercing my heel with needle. The pain comes and go on certain days. I am not diabetic and I don't have any other known medical problems. I am 37years old female, 147lb, 5'2". I live in Louisiana and I am a vegetarian. Please help.
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Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 38 minutes later
Brief Answer: It could be PLANTAR FASCITIS. Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX Though there are a few conditions that produce pain in the heel, the most commonest cause is PLANTAR FASCITIS, which implies pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in your foot. If tension on that bowstring becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. An xray of the ankle joint & an MRI scan are needed to rule out the other possible causes for heel pain. The conservative management of PLANTAR FASCITIS is as follows - * Relative rest and simple massage of the foot along with stretching exercises. Regular, gentle stretching of your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia may help to ease your symptoms. * Use of analgesic antiinflammatory medicines like Advil or Aleve as needed * Night splints may be useful to keep the foot in plantigrade position * Shoe inserts - Use of MCR (micronised rubber) or silicon heels (orthoses) in the foot wear so as to produce a cushioning effect and taking off the pain * Maintaining appropriate body weight so as to reduce the load bearing on the heels If your symptoms are not improving with the above measures, consult an orthopedic surgeon for further evaluation and management. Hope I have addressed your query. Happy to help further Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 9 hours later
X-ray was taken for my feet and ruled against any damage to my bones. How would MRI be different and what would it reveal that x-ray couldn't show? Is this curable? Is surgery needed?
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Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 15 minutes later
Brief Answer: MRI is different from Xray in many ways. Detailed Answer: Hi, Nice to hear from you. While xrays are basically meant for bones, MRI is useful to detect any sort of problem/pathology in the SOFT TISSUES like muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint capsule, articular cartilage, subcutaneous fat, blood vessels, nerves etc. So, an MRI scan will pickup any sort of abnormality in the above mentioned structures that is producing pain in you and clinches the diagnosis of your condition. Plantar fascitis is curable in majority of cases without any surgical intervention. Patients who are not responding to medical management are considered to be candidates for surgery (though surgery is successful in only upto 70% of cases) but is rarely indicated. Hope I have justified your query. Good day
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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