A randomized, prospective study was conducted to compare the individual effectiveness of three types of conservative therapy in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. One hundred three subjects were randomly assigned to one of three treatment categories: anti-inflammatory, accommodative, or mechanical. Subjects were treated for 3 months, with follow-up visits at 2, 4, 6, and 12 weeks. For the 85 patients who completed the study, a statistically significant difference was noted between groups, with mechanical treatment with taping and orthoses proving to be more effective than either anti-inflammatory or accommodative modalities.
A retrospective study was conducted on the use of the instep plantar fasciotomy for the treatment of recalcitrant plantar fasciitis. A total of 83 patients (94 feet) were analyzed. The average postoperative follow-up time was 20.9 months. Surgery was deemed successful 93.6% of the time, and in 95.7% of cases, the patient would recommend the procedure to someone with the same condition. The main complications were scarring (9.6%), medial arch or heel pain (7.5%), cramping in the arch (6.4%), lateral column pain (5.3%), aching or pain across the dorsal midfoot (5.3%), and burning or tingling of the ball of the foot (5.3%).
Background: Plantar fasciitis (PF) is predominantly treated conservatively through some modalities such as extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) and low-level laser therapy (LLLT), yet the short effect of these modalities on pain and function is still ambiguous. This study aims to compare the short-term effectiveness of ESWT and LLLT on pain and function in patients with PF.
Methods: Participants (n=47) were randomly assigned into 2 groups as ESWT (n=27) and LLLT (n=20). ESWT (once a week) and LLLT (three times a week) were administered to the participants for 3 weeks. Foot function index (FFI) including pain, disability, and activity limitation subscales was administered at baseline and post-treatment. A reduction of one point in total scores was considered as a minimum clinically important difference. Repeated measures of ANOVA were used to analyze the changes in outcomes and compare the groups.
Results: There were significant main effects of time, and significant interaction effects between
group and time on pain (P<0.001), disability (P<0.001), and activity limitation (P<0.05). The main effect of the group was not significant for all subscales (P=0.811, P=0.481, P=0.865, respectively). The LLLT group showed a significant decline in pain (P<0.001), disability (P<0.001), and activity limitation (P<0.001) while there was no change in the ESWT group over time (P=0.319, P=0.711, P=1.0 respectively). Consistently, 95% of participants in the LLLT had CID in the pain subscale whereas 48% of the ESWT group had.
Conclusions: LLLT was found to be superior to ESWT as an effective approach in the short-term management of PF.
One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis; however, there are other pathologic disorders that can mimic the symptoms and clinical presentation of this disorder. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively review the prevalence of various pathologic disorders on ultrasound in patients with proximal plantar heel pain.
The medical records and diagnostic ultrasound reports of patients presenting with plantar heel pain between March 1, 2006, and March 31, 2007, were reviewed retrospectively, and the prevalence of various etiologies was collected. The inclusion criteria were based on their clinical presentation of plantar fasciitis or previous diagnosis of plantar fasciitis from an unknown source. Ultrasound evaluation was then performed to confirm the clinical diagnosis.
We examined 175 feet of 143 patients (62 males and 81 females; age range, 16–79 years). Plantar fibromas were present in 90 feet (51%). Plantar fasciitis was diagnosed in 128 feet (73%). Coexistent plantar fibroma and plantar fascial thickening was found in 63 feet (36%). Of the 47 feet that were negative for plantar fasciitis on ultrasound, 27 (57%) revealed the presence of plantar fibroma.
Diagnostic ultrasound can effectively and safely identify the prevalence of various etiologies of heel pain. The high prevalence of plantar fibromas and plantar fascial tears cannot be determined by clinical examination alone, and, therefore, ultrasound evaluation should be performed for confirmation of diagnosis.
Chronic plantar fasciitis is often treated by surgical plantar fasciotomy when conservative treatments have been exhausted. This article presents an ultrasound-guided Weil percutaneous plantar fasciotomy technique used to successfully treat persistent plantar fasciitis in a 48-year-old woman. Five weeks after the procedure, the patient had resumed normal activity, with an excellent clinical outcome. This ultrasound-guided technique can be performed in an office or hospital surgical setting. This technique may be useful to podiatric physicians and surgeons who treat chronic plantar fasciitis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(2): 146–148, 2010)
We present a 57-year-old female patient with iatrogenic lateral plantar nerve injury caused by endoscopic surgery for plantar fasciitis. Nerve grafting surgery was recommended, but the patient refused further surgical intervention because of personal reasons. After 1-year follow-up in outpatient clinics, she achieved only slight improvement in the lateral foot symptoms and still required oral analgesics for pain control. The purpose of this case report is to remind physicians of such a rare and serious complication that can occur after endoscopic surgery for plantar fasciitis. Good knowledge of anatomy and skilled surgical technique could decrease this type of complication.
Podiatric physicians encounter many conditions, especially in sports medicine, that involve pain in the vicinity of the rearfoot or lower leg. These conditions are often associated with ankle equinus and may affect either child or adult sports participants. A review of the literature and clinical experience identify posterior night stretch splinting as an effective adjunct in the treatment of persistent symptomatic plantar fasciitis, negating the need for corticosteroid injections, further protracted pain, or surgery. This article reviews clinical cases in which night stretch splinting was used for a variety of diagnoses. Further research is needed into its efficacy for conditions other than plantar fasciitis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(7): 356-360, 2001)
Exertional compartment syndrome in the foot is rarely reported and often confused with plantar fasciitis as a cause of arch pain in the running athlete. We describe a case involving a 19-year-old competitive collegiate runner who developed a chronic case of bilateral medial arch pain during training, which was initially diagnosed as plantar fasciitis but failed to respond to conventional treatment. After symptoms began to suggest exertional compartment syndrome, the diagnosis was confirmed by measuring an elevated resting pressure in the medial compartment of both feet. The patient underwent a bilateral medial compartment fasciotomy, which allowed a full return to activity, and has remained pain free after a 1-year follow-up.
Two hundred seventy-five lateral weightbearing radiographs of isolated pathology were reviewed and stratified into hallux rigidus (n = 100), hallux valgus (n = 75), plantar fasciitis (n = 50), and Morton’s neuroma (n = 50) groups. The patient population consisted of healthy individuals with no history of foot trauma or surgery. The first to second metatarsal head elevation, Seiberg index, first to second sagittal intermetatarsal angle, first to fifth metatarsal head distance, and hallux equinus angle were measured in each population. Statistically significant differences were found between the hallux valgus, plantar fasciitis, and Morton’s neuroma populations and the hallux rigidus population, which showed greater elevation of the first metatarsal relative to the second for each radiographic measurement technique. In the hallux rigidus population, there was a statistically significant difference between grade II and grades I and III regarding the first to fifth metatarsal head distance (greater in grade II) and the hallux equinus angle (lower in grade II). A review of the literature and comparison with historical controls reveals that metatarsus primus elevatus exists in hallux rigidus and is greater than that found in hallux valgus, plantar fasciitis, and Morton’s neuroma groups. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(3): 221–228, 2005)
Medial forefoot pain, or midarch pain, is usually attributed to plantar fasciitis. The authors present their findings of a previously unreported nerve entrapment of the medial proper plantar digital nerve (MPPDN). Ten fresh-frozen cadaveric specimens were analyzed for anatomical variance in the nerve distribution of the MPPDN. In addition, clinical results from a retrospective review of nine patients who underwent surgical nerve decompression of the MPPDN are presented. Significant anatomical variance was found for the MPPDN in the cadaveric dissection of 10 fresh-frozen specimens. Nine patients with a clinical diagnosis of entrapment of the MPPDN all obtained excellent pain relief with surgical external neurolysis. Only one complication occurred: a hypertrophic scar formation that was successfully treated with intralesional steroid injections. The authors believe that this MPPDN entrapment is often overlooked or misdiagnosed as plantar fasciitis. Surgical peripheral nerve decompression of this nerve can provide positive outcomes for patients suffering from midarch foot pain caused by this pain generator.