Plantar Fascial Tear

Melbourne star and co-captain Jack Viney suffered a foot injury the weekend before last that could keep him sidelined for up to six weeks. Aside from being a major blow to the Demons’ AFL finals hopes, if this foot injury is not managed appropriately it could become an ongoing problem for Viney. It is understood that he had previously been suffering from an aggravated plantar fascia with a small plantar fascial tear.

Although Jack is eyeing off a return in round 18 against Port Adelaide, his recovery will depend on how quickly he can restrengthen his foot and lower leg muscles.

What is Plantar fascia?

The plantar fascia is the connective tissue that supports the arch and under side (plantar side) of the foot. It attaches under the heel, extends towards the toes and attaches under the ball of the foot. If inflamed or if degeneration has occurred, loading this structure can cause heel and arch pain. Plantar Fasciitis or Fasciocis is quite common, it is probably the most common foot complaint managed by podiatrists. If left untreated, it can become not only chronic but quite debilitating.

Jack Viney had surgery on his plantar fascia injury last Monday afternoon after again pulling up sore post game against the Swans. He has underwent plantar fascial release surgery in which aims to reduce the tension and loading on the plantar fascia. The procedure is done via a small incision above the heel’s fat pad and involves small incisions being made through the plantar fascia to relieve the tension. The procedure is not overly common as only about 5% of plantar fasciitis sufferers require surgical intervention. Typically most plantar fascia injuries can be managed using conservative treatments such as ice, anti-inflammatories, stretching, strengthening, footwear and orthotics. Although he is eyeing off a return for round 18, Viney’s recovery will depend on how quickly he can restrengthen his foot and lower leg muscles.

Some of you may remember that superstar Saint, Robert Harvey, suffered from a similar issue during the twilight of his career. After conservatively managing his partial tear of the plantar fascia for many months, Harvey resorted to a drastic (not recommended) “do it yourself” technique in which he repeatedly jumped off a table to deliberately cause a full rupture of his plantar fascia. We do NOT recommend this and so if you are having heel or arch pain see your podiatrist for advice on some conservative management options.

Read more about Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain

For more information about plantar fasciitis injuries, to speak to a podiatrist or to make an appointment to have you injury assessed, either phone one of our clinics or book online.

Dominic Sanó is a sports podiatrist at Walk On Podiatry Hastings and Walk On Podiatry Chelsea having worked closely with many people suffering sports related and running injuries over the years helping people not only with the treatment of their injuries but also focusing on preventative strategies.