Fasciotomy and Surgical Tenotomy for Chronic Achilles Insertional Tendinopathy
A Retrospective Study Using Ultrasound-Guided Percutaneous Microresection
Achilles insertional tendon pathology is a common condition affecting a broad range of patients. When conservative treatments are unsuccessful, the traditional open resection, debridement, and reattachment of the Achilles tendon is a variably reliable procedure with significant risk of morbidity. Fasciotomy and surgical tenotomy using ultrasound-guided percutaneous microresection is used on various tendons in the body, but the efficacy has not been examined specifically for the Achilles tendon.
A retrospective review evaluated 26 procedures in 25 patients who underwent Achilles fasciotomy and surgical tenotomy. The Foot Function Index was used to quantify pain, disability, activity limitation, and overall scores.
Mean Foot Function Index scores were as follows: pain, 8.53%; disability, 7.91%; activity limitation, 2.50%; and overall, 6.97%. Twenty index procedures were successful, and two patients repeated the procedure successfully for an overall 84.6% success rate in patients with chronic insertional pathology with mean surveillance of 16 months. There were no infections or systemic complications.
Ultrasound-guided percutaneous microresection is a safe and minimally invasive percutaneous alternative that can be used before proceeding to a more invasive open procedure.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether changes in plantar fascia thickness are a reliable gauge of efficacy of treatment protocols for plantar fasciitis.
Thirty-nine feet (30 patients) with plantar fasciitis received an ultrasound examination to measure the thickness of the medial band of the plantar fascia. Each patient assessed his or her pain using the visual analogue scale. Following various treatments, a second ultrasound examination was performed and the thickness of the plantar fascia was again measured and subjective pain level assessed.
Twenty-nine feet (74.4%) showed a decrease in plantar fascia thickness and a decrease in pain. One foot (2.6%) experienced an increase in fascia thickness and reported an increase in pain. Four feet (10.3%) had an increase in thickness of the plantar fascia and reported no change in pain level. Three feet had minor increases in fascia thickness but reported a decrease in pain (7.7%). One foot (2.6%) had no change in fascia thickness but a decrease in pain and one foot (2.6%) had a decrease in the plantar fascia but no change in pain level. The average reduction in fascia thickness was 0.82 mm ±1.04 mm, correlating with an average improvement in pain of 3.64 ± 2.7 (P < 0.005).
This study provides evidence that changing thickness of the plantar fascia is a valid objective measurement to assess effectiveness of new or existing treatment protocols. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(5): 385–389, 2011)
Background: Ultrasound-guided plantar fascia release offers the surgeon clear visualization of anatomy at the surgical site. This technique uses small arthroscopic dissecting instruments through a 0.5-cm incision, allowing the surgeon to avoid the larger and more tissue-disruptive incision that is traditionally used for plantar heel spur resection and plantar fascia releases.
Methods: Forty-one patients (46 feet) were selected for the study. The mean patient age was 47 years. Twenty-nine were considered obese with a body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2. Patients were functionally and subjectively evaluated 4 weeks after surgery using the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society Ankle and Hindfoot Rating Scale.
Results: Results from the study show a significant improvement (P = .05 confidence level) 4 weeks postoperatively for the 41 patients (46 feet), compared to their preoperative condition. The mean pretest score was 33.6 (range 10–52); this score improved to 88.0 (range 50–100), 4 weeks postoperatively. There were no postoperative infections or complications.
Conclusions: The ultrasound-guided plantar fascia release technique is a practical surgical procedure for the relief of chronic plantar fascia pain because the surgeon is able to clearly visualize the plantar fascia by ultrasound. In addition, there is minimal disruption to surrounding tissue because small instruments are passed through a small 0.5-cm incision. The traditional open method of heel spur surgery, in contrast, uses a larger skin incision of 3 to 5 cm, followed by larger instruments to dissect to the plantar fascia. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(3): 183–190, 2009)
A 16-question post-treatment survey was sent to 874 patients after extracorporeal shockwave treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis. Of the 377 surveys returned, 353 were used for analysis. These patients were treated by 169 physicians in 19 states using either electrohydraulic or electromagnetic extracorporeal shockwave equipment. Seventy-six percent of the patients underwent treatment after having had continued pain for a year or longer. Seventy percent of patients who rated their pretreatment pain level as severe (score ≥ 8 on a scale from 1 to 10) experienced sharp declines in pain, with a sharp decline considered to be a difference in pain level before and after treatment of 3 or more. In addition, 66% of patients who rated their pretreatment immobility as severe (score ≥ 8 on a scale from 1 to 10) experienced sharp declines in immobility. Of the patients who underwent extracorporeal shockwave treatment, 69% indicated that they would recommend this procedure to someone in a similar situation. If extracorporeal shockwave treatment were not available, 62% of patients indicated that they would have undergone open or invasive surgery, and 41% indicated that they would have continued with additional physician office visits. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(6): 517–524, 2005)
Morton's neuroma is a common condition that routinely presents in podiatric practice. The aim of this study was to systematically synthesize the evidence relating to the effectiveness of a corticosteroid injection for Morton's neuroma.
Studies with a publication date of 1960 or later were eligible, and searches were performed within the Turning Research Into Practice database; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials; the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialised Register; MEDLINE (Ovid); PubMed; Embase; Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature; and the gray literature. Study selection criteria included randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials where a single corticosteroid injection for Morton's neuroma pain was investigated. The primary outcome was Morton's neuroma pain as measured by any standard validated pain scale.
Ten studies involving 695 participants were included. The quality of the studies was considered low and subject to bias. Of the included studies, five compared corticosteroid injection to usual care, one compared corticosteroid injection to local anesthetic alone, one compared ultrasound-guided to non–ultrasound-guided injections, three compared corticosteroid injections to surgery, one compared small to large neuromas, six assessed patient satisfaction, four measured adverse events, one studied return to work, and one examined failure of the corticosteroid injection to improve pain. Overall, these studies identified a moderate short- to medium-term benefit of corticosteroid injections on the primary outcome of pain and a low adverse event rate.
A single corticosteroid injection appears to have a beneficial short- to medium-term effect on Morton's neuroma pain. It appears superior to usual care, but its superiority to local anaesthetic alone is questionable, and it is inferior to surgical excision. A very low adverse event rate was noted throughout the studies, indicating the intervention is safe when used for Morton's neuroma. However, the quality of the evidence is low, and these findings may change with further research.