Taking Care of Your Feet

Are you suffering from aching feet due to plantar fat atrophy? Are you looking for a way to minimize the pain in your feet?

Humans spend much of their life walking on their feet. Overtime, the fat pads, which act as shock absorbers and protective pads, start to degrade, which can lead to pain. When you have a condition such as fat pad atrophy, the breakdown of the fat pad can occur much more rapidly. Fat pad atrophy is associated with decreased tissue thickness in the foot, increased pressure in the foot and other pain. It can feel like you are walking on bone, lead to excruciating pain, loss of productivity and ultimately, financial loss.

Fat pad atrophy can be caused by obesity, age, high-heeled shoes, steroid injections, iatrogenic surgical consequences, abnormal feet, and diseases such as diabetes or collagen vascular disease, for example.

Fat grafting for the foot is a procedure that involves using one’s own fat cells from your thighs or abdomen and transplanting them into the area in the foot that is causing pain due to a loss of padding. The use of one’s own cells means that it is highly unlikely that your body will reject the tissue or have an allergic reaction.

A recent study1 comparing 13 participants undergoing foot grafting to 12 participants in the control group undergoing pain management concluded the procedure was beneficial. After a year follow-up, the group that underwent foot grafting had improved the functioning of their foot, reduced pain and increased their ability to work and undertake leisure activities. There was no change in the thickness of the tissue in the fat grafting group; however, there was a significant decrease in thickness for those who did not undergo the grafting. While foot pressure did not improve for those undergoing fat grafting, it increased significantly for those who did not have fat grafting. Overall, the study concluded that the fat grafting process can significantly improve levels of pain and prevent the foot from worsening overtime.

If you have been diagnosed with plantar fat pad atrophy, a consultation will allow us to assess whether we can assist you in reducing and alleviating your pain through the foot fat grafting procedure.

1 Gusenoff, J. A. and R. T. Mitchell, K. Jeong, Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 138: 1099, 2016.