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Plantar Fasciitis N024

Last amended 
26 April 2016

Current RMA Instruments:

Reasonable Hypothesis SOP
51 of 2015
Balance of Probabilities SOP
52 of 2015
Changes from previous Instruments:
SOP Bulletin 181
ICD Coding:
  • ICD-9-CM Codes: 728.71
  • ICD-10-AM Codes: M72.2
Brief description:

The plantar fascia is a fibrous connective tissue structure that spans the bottom of the foot and supports the arch of the foot.  Plantar fasciitis is a common disorder and the most common cause of heel pain.  Most cases of plantar fasciitis are self-limiting and will resolve within a year, with or without treatment.  Calcaneal spur may develop as a consequence of the periosteal inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis or it may be unrelated.  In either event it is generally an asymptomatic, incidental radiological finding.

Confirming the diagnosis:

Diagnosis is usually made on the clinical presentation.  Radiological imaging (ultrasound, X-ray, MRI) can be useful to rule out other causes of heel pain.

The relevant medical specialist is an orthopaedic surgeon.

Additional diagnoses that are covered by these SOPs:
  • Nil
Conditions not covered by these SOPs   
  • Calcaneal spur - N.I.F. (No Incapacity Found)

  • Calcaneal stress fracture* - Fracture SOP

  • Metatarsalgia - Non-SOP or Morton’s metatarsalgia SOP

* another SOP applies  - the SOP has the same name unless otherwise specified

# non-SOP condition

Clinical onset

Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, the clinical onset can be back-dated to the time of onset of typical symptoms (pain under the heel, worse with walking).  

Clinical worsening

The usual course of plantar fasciitis is for improvement or resolution over a period of 6 months to a year.  Worsening could be manifest by an increase in symptoms or signs, increased restriction of activity, or prolongation of the condition beyond the usual course.