PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to report the long term effectiveness of endoscopic plantar fascia release for recalcitrant plantar fasciopathy. MATERIALS: Twenty-three consecutive patients underwent endoscopically-assisted plantar fascia release for symptomatic plantar fasciopathy unresponsive to nonoperative measures. The clinical diagnosis was supported by imaging (plain radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]) and the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) score was administered to all patients. All patients underwent endoscopic plantar fascia release. Postoperatively, patients were assessed at clinical examination and the AOFAS score was administered. RESULTS: Twenty-two (26 feet) of the 23 patients included in our original cohort returned to our clinic at an average final follow-up of 9.6 years. The mean preoperative AOFAS score of 51 (range, 41-63) improved to 89 (range, 41-97) at the last follow-up, with no statistically significant difference between patients with or without calcaneal bone spur (p = 0.43). At the last appointment, physically active patients reported significantly higher AOFAS scores than sedentary patients (p = .008). CONCLUSIONS: This endoscopic plantar approach could be a viable alternative to more invasive procedures for management of recalcitrant plantar fasciopathy. Future randomised controlled trials are needed.
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