A fasciotomy is a surgical procedure where the fascia is cut to relieve tension or pressure.
The fascia is thin connective tissue covering, or separating, the muscles and internal organs of the body. It varies in thickness, density, elasticity, and composition, and is different from ligaments and tendons.
The fascia can be injured either through constant strain or through trauma. Fasciitis is an inflammation of the fascia. The most common condition for which fasciotomy is performed is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the fascia on the bottom of the foot.
Fasciotomy in the limbs is usually done 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. Then the incision is 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.