Heel pain is one of the most common foot complaints and requires expert diagnosis and treatment for optimal outcomes. If you have heel pain, Tim McConn, DPM, can help at his office in Midtown Tulsa, South Tulsa, or Owasso, Oklahoma. Dr. McConn uses the most advanced treatments and up-to-date techniques to resolve the causes of heel pain, including minimally invasive surgeries for plantar fasciitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and bone swelling of the heel. Call the location nearest you today to schedule a consultation or use the online form.

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What causes heel pain?

Heel pain can develop for many reasons. Some common causes of heel pain include:

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel calluses
  • Heel fissures
  • Heel spurs
  • Haglund’s deformity
  • Subchondral bone defect
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome

Of these, plantar fasciitis is the most widespread cause of heel pain.

Why does plantar fasciitis cause heel pain?

The plantar fascia is a fibrous length of connective tissue. It goes from your heel, under your arch, and into the base of your toes. If the plantar fascia becomes inflamed because it’s coming under stress, it can cause pain in the sole of your foot at the heel.

Plantar fasciitis is most likely to affect people aged 40 – 60. Other risk factors include:

  • Having high arches
  • Standing for long periods
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having tight calf muscles
  • Increasing exercise too quickly

Heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis is typically worse in the morning when you get out of bed or have been immobile for an extended period. As you start moving, the heel pain eases, but if you keep going, it can return.

How is heel pain treated?

Many cases of heel pain improve using conservative treatment approaches such as:

  • Rest
  • Applying ice packs
  • Foot and leg exercises
  • Physical therapy
  • Using athletic tape
  • Wearing night splints
  • Custom-fitted arch supports
  • Custom orthotics
  • Regenerative medicine

You should also make sure your footwear supports your feet properly. Both high heels and flat shoes with no heel – like ballet pumps – are bad for your feet when you have heel pain.

What can I do if these treatments don’t relieve my heel pain?

If you’re finding conservative treatments aren’t relieving your heel pain, Dr. McConn has other options available, depending on the cause of your condition. Potential treatments include:


A subchondral bone defect or bone marrow lesion (BML) is a disorder of the spongy cancellous bone underneath your cortical bone. Subchondroplasty (SCP®) is a minimally invasive procedure in which Dr. McConn uses AccuFill® bone substitute material (BSM) to address the swelling in your heel associated with chronic plantar fasciitis. This stabilizes the swelling in the bone as well as prevents further swelling in the future. Conservative management of plantar fasciitis does not have the ability to address the bone swelling within the heel bone.

As new bone grows during the healing process, it replaces the AccuFill BSM. Dr. McConn performs the surgery using minimally invasive techniques and with the guidance of fluoroscopy, a form of moving X-ray technology.

Subchondroplasty leads to a faster reduction in pain and a quicker return to normal activities.

Tarsal tunnel surgery

Tarsal tunnel syndrome develops when there’s pressure on the tibial nerve or any of its branches. To relieve pressure on the nerve, Dr. McConn releases the nerve through a minimal incision approach and applies amnion stem cells to help prevent recurrence caused by scar tissue. Oftentimes, patients will be treated for plantar fasciitis; however, if tarsal tunnel syndrome is missed the patient will continue to have pain and discomfort despite appropriate treatment for plantar fasciitis. Dr. McConn routinely screens for tarsal tunnel syndrome.

Plantar fascia release surgery

Plantar fascia release involves Dr. McConn cutting a small portion of the plantar fascia to relieve the pressure and reduce inflammation.

If you have heel pain, prompt treatment could save you a great deal of pain and distress. Call Tim McConn, DPM, today or book an appointment online.