Heel Pain

Heel Pain
15-20 miles from East Indianapolis in Greenfield, Indiana

Heel pain is the most common type of foot pain that exists. Within the category plantar fasciitis by far leads the pack. It is often characterized as pain with first step out of bed in the morning. The good news is there are lots of treatment options available. Whether that be regenerative medicine, physical therapy, shoes inserts, steroid injections, or oral medications – surgery is often not necessary.

Why Choose Central Indiana & Greenfield Foot and Ankle Surgeon Doctor William J. E. Adams?
Fellowship Trained Foot & Ankle Surgeon

Doctor Adams is a Fellowship Trained Foot and Ankle Surgeon whom has had a lot of success treating heel pain conservatively. Just like with any problem, accurate diagnosis is the most important aspect of allowing proper care. Dr. Adams likes to spend adequate time with every patient to fully appreciate their issue.


If you have heel pain and have questions or concerns, please feel free to call Doctor Adams at (317) 477-6683 or schedule a consultation online.

Learn more about Dr. Adams

Dr. Adams is a born and raised Hoosier. He attended Indiana University-Bloomington where he met his wife Allison. He got degrees in Nutrition Science, Biology and Chemistry. Dr. Adams then got his doctorate from Kent State College of Podiatric Medicine where he was a Dean’s List student. He then came back to Indianapolis to do his residency surgical training and was Chief resident. He stayed in Indianapolis and completed a specialty Fellowship focusing on Adult and Pediatric Reconstruction. During his Fellowship Dr. Adams helped launch the first foot and ankle dedicated surgical practice at Hancock Orthopedics, and has been employed there since.


Dr. Adams enjoys teaching as he helps educate and train the surgical residents at Community Health Network, and the Fellows at American Health Network. He actively participates in research and editing for national peer reviewed journals.

He is also a consultant for orthopedic device companies where he is afforded the opportunity to help train and design with other surgeons across the country.

Dr. Adams has special interests in the following areas:

Arthroscopic joint surgery
Minimally invasive calcaneal fracture repair
Flat foot reconstruction, adult and pediatric
Vitamin D and its correlation with bone healing
Cartilage restoration for the ankle joint
Regenerative medicine
5th Metatarsal fractures
Non-union revision surgery

Dr. Adams is a father of two and resides with his family in Fishers. He enjoys the short commute to Hancock Health in Greenfield.

William J.E. Adams, DPM CV (pdf)

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Plantar Fascia Tear

Tears of the plantar fascia ligament are not extremely common but they can occur due to direct trauma, indirect trauma such as sports, and excessive steroid injections to the area. The good news is they are treated conservatively with a walking boot, and RICE therapy. They cause prolonged soreness, and are inconvenient as sports and prolonged standing need to be discontinued during the healing phase. They typically will heal in 6-10 weeks, and do not require surgery.

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Plantar Fasciitis

The most common complaint of all regarding the foot and ankle. Statistically speaking most humans will experience plantar fasciitis at some point in their lifetime. The good news is it is often self limiting and surgery is rarely needed. It is caused by having an excessively tight calf muscle group, and therefore Achilles tendon. The Achilles acts to flatten the arch of the foot during gait just after the heel is lifting off the ground and the weight is starting to get distributed towards the toes. This action puts a tremendous amount of force across the plantar fascia ligament which acts to support the medial arch of the foot, and prevent collapse of the arch. When the Achilles tendon gets very tight this causes continued stress on the plantar fascia ligament which overtime causes chronic inflammation and pain. The best way to make heel pain/heel spur syndrome/plantar fasciitis better is to stretch the calf muscles.

Our preferred treatment course revolves around over the counter (OTC) arch supports, anti-inflammatories and stretching. We often find stretching is most effective when guided in physical therapy. When patient’s fail OTC anti-inflammatories we recommend ultrasound guided steroid injections to ensure accuracy of medicine placement. With good technology and technique these injections can be made very tolerable. When patients are unable to tolerate such, oral steroids are always an option as well, if appropriate.

We have found that it is rare that patients need surgical release (plantar fasciotomy) of the ligament when conservative care is provided adequately.

Foot & Ankle Surgeon near Indianapolis

Are you an Indianapolis resident seeking a foot & ankle surgeon?

Dr. Wil Adams is close and worth the short drive.

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Calcaneal Stress Fracture

A less common cause of chronic heel pain can be a stress fracture. This is most often seen in runners putting in a lot of miles on hard surfaces, or individuals standing long hours on hard surfaces. They are unable to be detected on x-rays until there are signs of healing on the x-ray (3-4 week lag time). They are able to be detected immediately with an MRI however. They are best treated conservatively with a walking boot or cast. They can be extremely uncomfortable, and can be slow to heal if not taken seriously. Stress fractures hurt with every step, and differ from plantar fasciitis in that they do not get better once you’ve been on your feet for awhile, they get worse.

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Neurogenic Heel Pain/Baxter’s Neuritis

Heel pain is not always related to the plantar fascia ligament. There are instances where heel pain is not related to ligaments or bone at all, and pain is driven by nerve entrapment in the heel. There is a small nerve branch in the bottom of the heel that runs transversely, and can become entrapped causing significant pain. It was first formally described, and therefore named after Dr. Donald Baxter. These pains are often described as shooting, tingling, and aching (paresthesias). Baxter’s neuritis needs different treatment than plantar fasciitis does. Pain with the first step out of bed in the morning is a classic finding with plantar fasciitis. If that describes your symptoms, it’s more likely that’s your issue rather than Baxter’s neuritis.

The good news is there are still plenty of conservative options to treat Baxter’s neuritis prior to considering surgical release of the nerve.


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