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Ultrasound guided injection of recalcitrant plantar fasciitis.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of ultrasound guided injection in recalcitrant idiopathic plantar fasciitis.

METHODS: Four patients with a clinical diagnosis of idiopathic plantar fasciitis, who were unresponsive to palpation guided injection with triamcinolone acetonide and local anaesthetic, underwent ultrasonographic examination of the heel.

RESULTS: The following ultrasonographic features were noted:- (a) increased thickness of plantar fascia in symptomatic heels compared with asymptomatic heels, (b) loss of distinction of the distal plantar fascia borders, (c) reduced echogenicity of the plantar fascia. Ultrasound guided injection of the enlarged, hypoechoic plantar fascia resulted in complete relief in four of five heels (mean duration of follow up = 24 months) in three cases. One patient developed a recurrence of symptoms after six months.

CONCLUSION: Ultrasound allows for confirmation of the clinical diagnosis and ultrasound guided injection produces a good clinical response when unguided injection is unsuccessful. The technique is quick, inexpensive, and entails no radiation exposure.

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