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Heel Pain Specialist

AZ Choice Foot and Ankle

Christopher Suykerbuyk, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot & Ankle Surgeon located in Gilbert, AZ

Your heels can sustain a lot of pressure but everyday wear and tear combined with high-impact activities like running and jumping take a toll. Before long, you have chronic heel pain. Christopher Suykerbuyk, DPM, at AZ Choice Foot and Ankle in Gilbert, Arizona, offers a wide range of heel pain treatments, from conservative therapies and orthotics to regenerative medicine. If needed, Dr. Suykerbuyk performs minimally invasive procedures to repair the damaged tissues. To find relief from heel pain, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Heel Pain Q&A

What causes heel pain?

Heel pain may arise from an abnormal gait or a stress fracture. The most common causes, however, are plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Achilles tendonitis:

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis, the top cause of heel pain, develops when the ligament that connects your heel to your toes becomes inflamed. Plantar fasciitis commonly develops due to overpronation, repetitive stress, high impact activities, and a tight calf muscle.

Heel spurs

Plantar fasciitis and bone spurs go hand in hand. Bone spurs develop where the inflamed fascia attaches to the heel.

Achilles tendonitis

Your Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to your heel bone, where it’s responsible for lifting your heel every time you take a step. Overuse injuries most often cause Achilles tendonitis, which is an inflamed tendon.

What symptoms will I have with heel pain?

In addition to chronic heel pain, you may have a swollen heel or swelling along the back of your leg. When you have plantar fasciitis, the heel pain feels worse when you take your first steps after resting; then it feels better as you walk around and stretch the ligament.

How do podiatrists treat heel pain?

Dr. Suykerbuyk customizes your treatment based on the underlying condition and the severity of your pain. The different treatment options fall into the following categories:

Non-surgical treatments 

Dr. Suykerbuyk may recommend modifying your activities or temporarily immobilizing the tissues. As soon as possible, you can start an exercise program to gently stretch the tissues and restore strength. Many patients also need custom orthotics.

Regenerative medicine

Torn and inflamed ligaments and tendons often respond well to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and amniotic injections. 

Dr. Suykerbuyk makes PRP in the office from your blood. After he injects PRP, the platelets accelerate healing, regulate inflammation, recruit stem cells to the area, and support new tissue growth.

Amniotic injections come from the amniotic tissues donated by women after they have a cesarean section. These tissues contain a variety of regenerative cells that help rebuild new tissue and modulate inflammation.

Minimally invasive surgery

Dr. Suykerbuyk has extensive experience performing minimally invasive endoscopic surgery to:

  • Release the plantar fascia
  • Lengthen the calf muscle
  • Remove damaged tendon
  • Clean away damaged tissues and debris
  • Repair damaged tissues
  • Replace damaged tendon

Dr. Suykerbuyk may also combine PRP treatments with surgery to improve the healing process.

You can get relief from heel pain at AZ Choice Foot and Ankle. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today.