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Heel pain is the most common diagnosis that we see in our practice. It is important to understand that not all heel pain is "plantar fasciitis." Heel pain can be caused from stress fractures, achilles tendonitis, nerve compression, sciatic nerve irritation, and growth plate injuries in children. A good majority of patients that we see that have heel pain do have "Plantar Fasciitis."

A good majority of our patients get relief and eventual resolution of heel pain with conservative treatment such as custom orthotics, tapings, stretching, night splints, NSAIDS, PT, cortisone injections via Ultrasound guidance, and sometimes a brief period of immobilization with a cam walker boot.

Dr. Saffer and Dr. Brown are board certified in foot surgery and can perform some of the latest state of the art treatments for chronic heel pain if needed. Topaz and minimally invasive release of the plantar fascia are two options with a quick recovery time and minimally post operative follow up. Our doctors are also looking at new minimally invasive procedures that involve the use of Ultrasound to repair and chronically degenerative plantar fascia ligament. Procedures such as Tenex, the use of biologics, and PRP are some of the options for chronic heel pain. We will take the month of April and May to discuss some of these state of the art minimally invasive procedures in our upcoming blogs.

We pride ourselves in keeping up with the latest technology to give our patients the best chance to heal and become increasingly more active.


-Stay hydrated Stick to water unless it’s pretty warm and/or you will be sweating a lot, then mix in some Gatorade or electrolyte fluid. This weekend’s race should be cool in the mid to upper 50s.

-Don’t try to get in a last minute workout or go out and run crazy fast today or tomorrow hoping to improve your race time. You will only make yourself sore and put yourself at risk for injury. If you want to improve your 5k or 10k need to start at least a month ahead of time. You will not get any faster the last week of the race. Lay off heavy weight training the day before the race and maybe 2 days before if you aren’t used to it.

-Eat good Eat “clean” foods and limit sugar, fiber and sodium the night before and morning of the race to avoid an upset stomach. Just eat what you normally do, as long as it’s healthy. The morning of the race, eat something easy to digest like low-fiber cereal or a banana. You don’t need crazy amounts of carbs the night before or energy gels during the race until you start running races that last you around 1.5 hours.

-Wear layers if it’s cold. This weekend it will be pretty cool, but after the first mile or so you will warm up. We recommend wearing a light jacket or thin long-sleeve top over my tank and then take it off and tie it around my waist if I have to.

-Warmup first.  For this 10k race you definitely want to get your legs warm first. Walk or jog (or combo) for about 10-15min and then do some light stretches AFTER you warmup.

-Pace yourself. If you have never run the bridge run then take it slow at first. It will be crowded at the starting line and for at least the first mile. Go slower at the beginning and gradually pick up your pace each mile. Take a our recent blog on tips on running up hill to help get your through the steep incline of the Bridge.

Good luck this Saturday!!


NBA prospect Kansas star Joel Embiid, who was projected by some to be the top pick in next week's NBA draft, underwent surgery Friday to repair a stress fracture in his right foot.

Embiid fractured the navicular bone in his foot last week and was discovered at the Cleveland Clinic during an exam.

Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game as a freshman with the Kansas Jayhawks last season.

Navicular fractures are often the result of high-energy injuries. In athletic injuries, they are most common in jumping sports, like basketball. This injury has been prevalent in many NBA basketball players such as Yao Ming.

In the multiply-injured patient, navicular fractures are often overlooked. These injuries are often picked up on the secondary survey.  If suspected, foot x-rays are indicated.

Physical exam



Plain x-rays often show a linear fracture line in the central portion of the navicular.
If a fracture is clinically suspected, but not evident on the x-ray, then proceed to other means of imaging. The TC99 bone scan may show an area of increased uptake and a CT and an MRI may give you a more definitive answer.

These type injuries can be treated with immoblization with a cast or cam walker boot. Surgery is often indicated for the athletic type of individual. The surgery typically involves insertion of one or two screws with a period of recovery which could be up to 6 to 8 months such as the case with Embiid.

We will keep you updated on his progress.

If you experience any foot pain that lasts longer than a week it is very important to be evaluated as soon as possible so that the correct diagnosis is made as well as appropriate treatment.

We at Carolina Foot Specialists have state of the art digital x-ray and diagnostic ultrasound that takes literally seconds to image the foot and ankle in both office locations.

As spring approaches we at Carolina Foot Specialists would like your toenails looking clear and fungus free. We offer a simple treatment called Clear Nails-pro. This is the liquid form of the oral Lamisil that is taken by mouth. Clear nails is a topical antifungal treatment which consists of Ciclopirox, Lamisil, and fluconazole. This option for treatment of fungal infected toenails is safe, minimal cost, and easy to apply. Please contact our office for more information on Clear Nails.

Dr. Brown and Dr. Saffer have observed that runners who are more experienced in distant running, younger, of normal body weight are much more likely to tolerate barefoot running than those who are just starting out with running, older, and heavier. At this point there is insufficient evidence of what foot type is best suited for barefoot running. As the years go on and more studies are produced a clearer picture will be evident.

Currently no barefoot runners hold world records in any track events or long distance running. Many elite runners don't want to increase their risk of injury by running barefoot. Many elite runners wear thinner soled shoes/minimalists shoes to run their races.

The barefoot running debate has forced foot and ankle specialists to rethink what is good and bad for runners. New studies will shed light on the controversy of barefoot running as the years go on.

Look out for future blogs on barefoot running, minimalist shoes, and training for the upcoming bridge run.