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Friday, December 24, 2010

Plantar Fasciitis Sleeping Splints: Common Modifications

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The posterior sleeping splint has been a mainstay for plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis sufferers. Since you get benefit any time you wear it more than 20 minutes, many patients use it alot during the day as they sit doing work or eating meals. It is more appropriate to think of it as a rest splint. It puts a gentle stretch on the tissues that shorten in injury. For many patients, it is a vital aspect of their treatment, and for others, simply a possible aid to their healing. Relook at a Youtube video I made introducing this topic.

The rest splint below shows the side straps actually cut off to emphasize that they are rarely used, and should be very loose (at least initially). It is hard enough to get used to the splint alone without having to crank up the tension.

Many patients complain that they come up in the heel while wearing the splint (you want the heel to sit as deep into the splint as possible). To remedy this situation, I have to add heel lifts under the bladder of the splint. This helps stabilize the heel in the splint. Up to 1 inch of heel lift is needed in some cases.

Padding of various amounts is also used when the splint causes too much pressure in the metatarsal areas. I have some patients complain of pain or numbness from this pressure in the fore foot. There are various inserts like Spenco on the market that can also be placed under the bladder to ease the pressure on the fore foot (see the link above).

Here is a view outside of my office window of a Christmas Sunset. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.