Background: Chronic plantar heel pain (CPHP) is common and is thought to have a detrimental impact on health-related quality of life. However, no study has used normative data or a control data set for comparison of scores. Therefore, we describe the impact of CPHP on foot-specific and general health-related quality of life by comparing CPHP subjects with controls.
Methods: Foot Health Status Questionnaire scores were compared in 80 subjects with CPHP and 80 sex- and age-matched controls without CPHP.
Results: The CPHP group demonstrated significantly poorer foot-specific quality of life, as evidenced by lower scores on the foot pain, foot function, footwear, and general foot health domains of the Foot Health Status Questionnaire. The group also demonstrated significantly poorer general health-related quality of life, with lower scores on the physical activity, social capacity, and vigor domains. In multivariate analysis, CPHP remained significantly and independently associated with Foot Health Status Questionnaire scores after adjustment for differences in body mass index. Age, sex, body mass index, and whether symptoms were unilateral or bilateral had no association with the degree of impairment in people with CPHP.
Conclusion: Chronic plantar heel pain has a significant negative impact on foot-specific and general health-related quality of life. The degree of negative impact does not seem to be associated with age, sex, or body mass index. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(4): 283–289, 2008)
Heel spur is a chronic inflammatory condition causing pain and other typical symptoms. Therapeutic recommendations include the use of several drug or orthotic/physical therapies, performed alone or in combination. Surgery is usually reserved for refractory conditions. Radiotherapy has been shown to ensure good clinical outcomes in this clinical setting. A systematic review was performed to describe the feasibility and effectiveness of radiotherapy in the treatment of heel spur, evaluating its role in alleviating pain and consequently ensuring a better quality of life. A case report of 45-year-old patient treated for refractary right hindfoot pain was reported. A single fraction of 6 Gy RT was delivered with symptomatic complete response at 2 months observed. A systematic database search was conducted according to PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses) guidelines. The systematic review included studies describing heel spur treatment and providing complete information about radiotherapy. Fifteen articles published between 1996 and 2020 were reviewed. Study characteristic analysis resulted in seven prospective randomized studies and eight retrospective studies. Radiotherapy of painful heel spur seems to be safe and effective, with high response rates even at low doses and with an overall favorable toxicity profile. Predictive parameters and modern tailored treatment should be investigated with further studies.
The purpose of this study was to determine feasibility of further investigation of treatment with instrument-assisted soft-tissue mobilization (IASTM), using the Graston technique, compared with conservative care for treatment of chronic plantar heel pain (CPHP).
Eleven participants with plantar heel pain lasting 6 weeks to 1 year were randomly assigned to one of two groups, with each group receiving up to eight physical therapy visits. Both groups received the same stretching, exercise, and home program, but the experimental group also received IASTM using the Graston technique. Outcome measures of pain and function were recorded at baseline, after final treatment, and 90 days later. Feasibility of a larger study was determined considering recruitment and retention rates, compliance, successful application of the protocol and estimates of the treatment effect.
Both groups demonstrated improvements in current pain (pain at time of survey), pain with the first step in the morning, and function after final treatment and at 90-day follow up. Medium-to-large effect sizes between groups were noted, and sample size estimates demonstrated a need for at least 42 participants to realize a group difference. A larger-scale study was determined to be feasible with modifications including a larger sample size and higher recruitment rate.
This pilot study demonstrates that inclusion of IASTM using the Graston technique for CPHP lasting longer than 6 weeks is a feasible intervention warranting further study. Clinically important changes in the IASTM group and moderate-to-large between-group effect sizes suggest that further research is warranted to determine whether these trends are meaningful.
The low-Dye strap is used routinely to temporarily control pronation of the foot and, thereby, to diagnose and treat pronatory sequelae. However, the exact biomechanical effects of this strapping technique on the foot are not well documented. The main purpose of this study was to establish the specific mechanical effects of the low-Dye strap on the pronatory foot. Within this context, the specific aim was to assess the effect of the low-Dye strap on three distinct pronation-sensitive mechanical attributes of the foot in the weightbearing state: 1) calcaneal eversion, 2) first metatarsophalangeal joint range of motion, and 3) medial longitudinal arch height. Weightbearing measurements of these three attributes were made before and after application of a low-Dye strap, and statistical comparisons were made. The results of this study indicate that the low-Dye strap is effective in reducing calcaneal eversion, increasing first metatarsophalangeal joint range of motion, and increasing medial longitudinal arch height in the weightbearing state. Knowledge of the exact mechanisms of action of the low-Dye strap will provide practitioners with greater confidence in the use of this modality. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(2): 118-123, 2003)
High-Dye and low-Dye taping are commonly used by clinicians to treat a variety of foot and ankle pathologies, particularly those associated with excessive rearfoot pronation. While the effects of taping on end range of motion have been extensively studied, relatively little is understood about the effect of the two styles of taping on rearfoot motion. Eighteen participants were analyzed in three conditions: 1) barefoot, 2) with high-Dye taping, and 3) with low-Dye taping. Two-dimensional motion of the rearfoot was assessed for each condition. The results indicated maximum inversion was increased with both high-Dye and low-Dye taping as compared with no taping. Only high-Dye taping, however, significantly reduced the maximum eversion of the rearfoot. The results suggest that high-Dye taping is an appropriate taping choice when control of eversion of the rearfoot is desired. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(5): 255-261, 2001)
Retained Viable Plant Material in the Calcaneus
A Case Report of a 22-Year-Old Soldier with Atypical Heel Pain
Foreign bodies can be difficult to diagnose and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of unexplained pain, even in the absence of recalled trauma. We present the case of a 22-year-old male with a painful left heel. The patient did not recall a specific traumatic incident, and there were no clinical signs of trauma or infection. Plain films of the foot were nonrevealing, but magnetic resonance imaging revealed a sinus tract and left calcaneal defect. A biopsy of the calcaneal defect revealed viable woody material embedded and partially integrated with the surrounding bone. Postoperatively the patient's pain completely resolved. This case illustrates the importance of radiopathologic pursuit of an etiology of unexplained foot pain in an otherwise healthy person.
Plantar vein thrombosis (PVT) is an atypical cause of plantar heel pain and is seldom reported in the literature. We present a unique, rare case report of a patient exhibiting plantar heel and medial arch pain caused by thrombosis in the plantar medial branch of the posterior tibial vein. The diagnosis was made by means of magnetic resonance imaging, showing lobulated hypointensity in the medial plantar vein, consistent with a PVT. In this article, we provide an overview of the clinical signs of PVT, which is most commonly plantar heel pain. Furthermore, we discuss ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging as diagnostic modalities, and conservative treatment options, including anti-inflammatory medications, anticoagulation therapy, and compression therapy. As with other types of venous thromboembolism, this condition must also be diagnosed without delay to avoid potential complications.