Palpation Versus Ultrasound-Guided Injection of Corticosteroid for Plantar Fasciitis

Abstract

We conducted a study to compare the effect of palpation-guided with ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injection for reducing the pain of plantar fasciitis. We recruited for the study 42 patients with plantar fasciitis, of whom 20 had palpation-guided (Group A) and 22 had ultrasound-guided (Group B) corticosteroid injection. We used a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and the Planter Fasciitis Pain and Disability Scale (PFPS) to assess the pain in both groups during a period of 1 year after the injection of corticosteroid under both types of guidance and at different time points within this study period. Pain from plantar fasciitis as measured with the VAS and the PFPS was decreased in both study groups after 1 year of treatment (P < 0.0001). Patients in Group B had lower VAS scores than those in Group A at 2-week, 6-week, 3-month, and 6-month follow-up intervals. Pain as reflected by the VAS was significantly higher in Group A as compared with Group B at all-time points after injection, except at 1 year. Pain as measured by the PFPS was significantly less severe in Group B at all time points except 6 months and 1 year. The study indicates that ultrasound-guided corticosteroid injection has greater efficacy than palpation-guided corticosteroid injection in reducing the pain of plantar fasciitis after 6 months of treatment.

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