What is the plantar fascia?
Before we discuss the , let’s talk about the Plantar Fascia .
The Plantar Fascia is a part of the foot that serves as a shock absorber. It also supports the arch of a foot by bearing our full weight whenever we stand, walk, and run. Now, as with all things that bear weight, it’s only correct to assume that this part has its limits and may weaken at a certain point, especially if you’re on your feet the whole day, whether for work, sports, or something recreational.
If your feet become strained enough, your Plantar Fascia might get irritated or damaged. When this happens, your Plantar Fascia might go through something called Plantar Fasciitis, a condition considered to be one of the most common causes of foot and heel pain. If you have Plantar Fasciitis, you will likely feel a prickling or stabbing sensation in the arch of your foot. Your foot will feel stiff. Your heel will likely swell, and whenever you take a step, you will feel like something’s biting or clamping your heel.
Another problem that might result from an irritated or damaged Plantar Fascia is a Plantar Fascia Rupture. This problem is uncommon. It is an acute type of pain that may emerge when performing an athletic or kinetic activity. When the rupture happens, the person will experience the feeling of having something tearing up or stabbing the sole of their foot. After the rupture, swelling will start to occur, and they will likely talk about a localized type of pain. After a few days, there will be bruising in the area and tenderness.
How to perform the Plantar Fascia Rupture Test
To check for a Plantar Fascia Rupture, you’ll have to conduct a series of tests that will confirm if it’s Plantar Fascia Rupture or Plantar Fasciitis. They’re not the same. In the context of this guide, the Plantar Fascia Rupture Test is a series of tests to account for the possibility of it being Plantar Fasciitis.
Here’s how it’ll go:
- Check the medical history of the patient to see if they’ve had a history of flat feet or Plantar Fasciitis or Rupture.
- Conduct the Windlass Test first. This test is for determining the possibility of Plantar Fasciitis. While Plantar Fascia Rupture and Fasciitis are different, they share some similarities, so it’s best to cover some ground. If you need a refresher on the steps for the Windlass Test and how to interpret the findings, please refer to our Windlass Test guide. Make sure to indicate if the patient is positive or negative for the Windlass Test.
- The next things you need to check are the following:
- Tenderness in the Plantar Fascia area, especially the medial side
- Bruising in the Plantar Fascia area
- Swelling in the Plantar Fascia area
- Tightness in the calf muscle (this predisposes Plantar Fascia Rupture
- To rule out or confirm other conditions like Plantar Fasciitis, the last thing you should do before diagnosing a patient is conduct imaging tests, which should identify if the problem is Plantar Fascia Rupture. An MRI should be able to determine that, as well as if the rupture is complete or partial.
Plantar Fascia Rupture Test Example:
Now that you know what Plantar Fascia is, the difference between Plantar Fasciitis and a Plantar Fascia Rupture, and what typically goes into checking a patient if they have Plantar Fasciitis or Rupture, it’s time for you to see the template that we made.
This template assumes you know how to evaluate a patient for Plantar Fascia-related problems, so we didn’t list the specifics of each step. It’s closer to a checklist. We added some comment boxes for each part so you can jot down your observations and write any plans for your patient regarding their potential Plantar Fascia Rupture.
If you like what you see and believe it’s a good way to record your findings for each patient, feel free to download our free Plantar Fascia Rupture Test PDF template!
When is it best to conduct a Plantar Fascia Rupture Test?
The best time to conduct it would be when a patient presents themselves to you for a scheduled appointment and discusses foot pains. When checking the foot, if you notice any bruising in the sole of the foot, especially in the Plantar Fascia area, there’s a good chance of a tear. Still, it’s best to physically examine the affected foot first. This is so you can check for the possibilities of other Plantar Fascia-related problems that might be present.
Also, before you conduct this test, it’s best to tell them what will happen and what particular tests will be conducted overall. This template includes an imaging test as part of the series. These tests are expensive, so it’s best to inform the patient beforehand so they can decide if they want to push through with it or not. They have the right to know and to decide, so you shouldn’t surprise them with a sudden imaging test.
It’s also best to conduct this test even if there is no bruising yet. Bruises might only appear days after the rupture first occurred, so having your patient undergo the tests is ideal so that you can detect as early as possible what specific Plantar Fascia problem they have, and if it’s a rupture, you can immediately see if it’s partial or complete.
What are the benefits of using this Plantar Fascia Rupture Test template?
It reminds professionals about what they should be checking.
The great thing about this template is that it provides reminders to thoroughly check a patient’s Plantar Fascia because Plantar Fascia Ruptures are rare and have similarities with Plantar Fasciitis. Simply palpating the foot isn’t enough and shouldn’t be the sole basis for determining the specific problem. That’s why the test template we have tells you to check the patient’s history (if they have a history of Plantar Fascia-related problems); to conduct the Windlass Test to account for the possibility of Plantar Fasciitis; to check for tenderness, swelling, and bruises; conduct an imaging test to correctly confirm everything. It provides structure.
It can be used to record findings.
The template we made for the Plantar Fascia Rupture Test comes with comment boxes. They’re there for healthcare professionals to note their observations while conducting all the tests. It’s an excellent way to record findings and share them with other members of the patient’s care team. The findings can help inform others so they can decide what particular tests should be conducted.
Some segments of the template can be reused when monitoring patients.
During the recovery phase of the patient from Plantar Fascia Rupture, you can conduct these tests again to see if the characteristics of Plantar Fascia Rupture are still present. If they are, you might want to give whatever treatment plan you implemented more time to see if it’ll work. If they get better and their foot starts to become normal again, you can safely assume your plan is working. If not, you might want to make changes and see if said changes do the trick.
How can Carepatron help with physical therapy-related work?
If you’re a physical therapist or a similar type of healthcare professional handling patients with Plantar Fascia Ruptures or related problems, we hope our template for checking patients for ruptures helps you with your work.
While we have you here, we’d like to ask you for your time to check out more of the Carepatron platform. We have numerous features that will benefit your work. We won’t get into all of them here, but we would like to highlight one: our resource library.
Our resource library houses a massive collection of clinical resources, covering numerous healthcare fields, practices, and topics, especially physical therapy. We have numerous assessments that can help you gauge patients for potential injuries and conditions, both in their upper and lower extremities. Our Plantar Fascia Rupture Test template is part of this, and we have a lot more that you can use, such as the Windlass Test that we mentioned earlier and much more. What’s great about these resources is that they’re all free! So download as much as you want and need! If our templates for other types of physical examinations help you gauge your patient better, we’re happy!