Intralesional corticosteroid injection versus extracorporeal shock wave therapy for plantar fasciopathy

Mark D Porter, Bruce Shadbolt
Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 2005, 15 (3): 119-24

OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy of low-energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) and intralesional corticosteroid injection (CSI) for the treatment of plantar fasciopathy present for at least 6 weeks.

DESIGN: A prospective, randomized, controlled, observer-blinded study over a period of 12 months.

SETTING: Primary care and hospital setting.

PATIENTS: A total of 132 patients were enrolled in the study, and 125 completed the study. Nineteen nonrandomized patients acted as a surrogate control group.

INTERVENTIONS: All patients performed a standardized Achilles tendon and plantar fascia stretching program. The patients were randomly allocated to either treatment group A or B. Group A received a single CSI, while group B were referred for a course of low-dose ESWT comprising 3 treatments over a period of 3 weeks. Group C consisted of 19 nonrandomized patients who performed the standardized stretching program only.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: The worst daily pain recorded on a visual analogue scale (VAS), and the tenderness at the plantar fascia insertion as determined by an algometer. These measures were recorded immediately prior to the commencement of treatment and 3 months and 12 months posttreatment.

RESULTS: With regard to VAS pain scores, values for the CSI (1.48; 0-7) were significantly lower than both ESWT (3.69; 0-8), and controls (3.58; 2-5) at 3 months. At 12 months, VAS scores for CSI (0.84; 0-7) and ESWT (0.84; 0-4) were both significantly lower than controls (2.42; 1-4). The tenderness values at 3 months were significantly higher for CSI (9.42; 7-11) than both ESWT (6.72; 4-11) and controls (7.63; 6-9). P < 0.05 was used throughout.

CONCLUSIONS: Corticosteroid injection is more efficacious and multiple times more cost-effective than ESWT in the treatment of plantar fasciopathy that has been symptomatic for more than 6 weeks.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"