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Autologous blood-derived products compared to corticosteroids for treatment of plantar fasciopathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

OBJECTIVE: This review article evaluated the efficacy of autologous blood-derived products (ABPs), including whole blood (WB) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP), in reducing pain and improving function compared with corticosteroids (CS) for plantar fasciopathy (PF) patients.

DESIGN: Literature comparing ABP and CS for the treatment of PF was systematically reviewed. Twelve randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and four quasi-experimental studies were included. The visual analogue scale pain score and American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) hindfoot score were evaluated at 1.5, 3, and 6 months' follow-up. Subgroup analyses were performed concerning PRP preparation techniques, injection regiments, and study designs.

RESULTS: CS was found to reduce pain more effectively than WB at 1.5 months and 3 months, but the effect disappeared at 6 months. PRP reduced pain more effectively at 6 months post-injection than CS. However, there was no significant difference in the AOFAS score between PRP and CS injections at any time point. In the subgroup analyses, pain was significantly reduced at 6 months by self-prepared PRP, one-step separation PRP, PRP of more than 3 mL, and PRP without local analgesics.

CONCLUSION: The results of this meta-analysis suggest that PRP may provide a long-term effect in relieving pain in PF patients.

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