Ultrasound-Guided Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections Versus Focal Ultrasound-Guided Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis in Athletes and Nonathletes: A Retrospective Comparative Study With Minimum 2-Year Follow-Up

Published:October 26, 2022DOI:


      Plantar fasciitis is often cause of heel pain, especially in sporting-related activities. Different conservative measures for the management of plantar fasciitis were compared in several researches. The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate and compare clinical outcomes of chronic plantar fasciitis treated with ultrasound-guided platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and focal ultrasound-guided extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESW). Secondarily, results on subpopulation of athletes were recorded. Fifty-five patients treated for plantar fasciitis were included, 24 among them were competitive or recreational athletes. Treatment outcomes were assessed using Visual Analog Scale and Foot Function Index before and after treatment. Time to return to sport among patients practicing sporting activities was recorded. Before treatment, no differences were observed between groups in terms of age, gender, body mass index, and months of follow up. From baseline to final follow-up assessment, significant improvement was observed in all the outcomes measures. The subgroup analysis showed no differences between patients stratified for type of treatment and sport/nonsport practitioners. The overall failure rate was higher, although not significant, in patients who underwent ESW therapy and they required a higher number of orthopedic visits. Among sports practitioners the mean time to return to sport (months) was faster in PRP group than ESW group (p = .044). PRP and ESW represent both reliable solutions for plantar fasciitis leading to good results in terms of patients’ satisfaction, pain, and clinical outcomes. However, after treatment with PRP injections less recurrences in overall population and faster return to sporting activities in sports practitioners were observed.

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