Fasciotomy or fasciectomy is a surgical procedure where the fascia is cut to relieve tension or pressure commonly to treat the resulting loss of circulation to an area of tissue or muscle. Fasciotomy is a limb-saving procedure when used to treat acute compartment syndrome. It is also sometimes used to treat chronic compartment stress syndrome. The procedure has a very high rate of success, with the most common problem being accidental damage to a nearby nerve.
Fasciotomy in the limbs is usually performed by a surgeon under general or regional anesthesia. An incision is made in the skin, and a small area of fascia is removed where it will best relieve pressure.
Plantar fasciotomy is an endoscopic procedure. The physician makes two small incisions on either side of the heel. An endoscope is inserted in one incision to guide the physician. A tiny knife is inserted in the other. A portion of the fascia near the heel is removed. The incisions are then closed.
In addition to scar formation, there is a possibility that the surgeon may need to use a skin graft to close the wound. Sometimes when closing the fascia again in another surgical procedure, the muscle is still too large to close it completely. A small bulge is visible, but is not harmful. It takes much time to heal and in some cases takes several months.
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