What is the plantar fat pad?
Plantar means bottom of the foot, and the plantar fat pad is referring to the literal fat on the soles of the feet. Over time, the fat pad may dissipate leaving no padding on the soles creating severe pain to the ball of the foot or heel. Certain structural deformities like flat foot or hammertoes may predispose the feet to an accelerated loss of the fat pad.
Symptoms of fat pad atrophy include:
- Prominent bones on the balls of feet or heels
- Significant aching when walking
- Pain in the ball of foot or heel when walking barefoot. It often feels like you are walking on a stone bruise
- Burning, tingling or numbness can also occur due to pressure on the nerves
- Can be used in areas that were previously ulcerated to prevent future ulcers (Once you develop an ulcer, you have a >50% chance of developing one again)
How does fat restoration work?
We use an injectable adipose (fat) tissue called Leneva. It is derived from donor human adipose tissue, which is called an allograft. It provides an extracellular matrix that functions as a scaffold to encourage your own fat cells to migrate over to the next several months.
Leneva can also be used to regenerate tissue underlying an ulceration, which can decrease healing time as well as negate the need for surgical intervention or amputation.
After the procedure, you will be placed in a walking boot and the area will be off-loaded to provide an optimal environment for the fat cells to accumulate under the painful areas.
This procedure can be done in office, under local anesthesia in our private surgical suite.
This procedure may be billed to your insurance if performed in the operating room (per your insurance guidelines). If you would like to know if your insurance will cover the procedure, you must be evaluated by the doctor to determine if you are a candidate and a prior authorization will be obtained.