Shall We Inject Superficial or Deep to the Plantar Fascia? An Ultrasound Study of the Treatment of Chronic Plantar Fasciitis.


The Journal of foot and ankle surgery : official publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, vol.56, no.4, pp.783-787, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1053/j.jfas.2017.03.004
  • Journal Name: The Journal of foot and ankle surgery : official publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.783-787
  • Keywords: pain, plantar fasciitis, steroid injection, ultrasonography, STEROID INJECTION, CORTICOSTEROID INJECTION, DIAGNOSIS, LIKERT, PALPATION, SCALES, PAIN


We compared the effectiveness of ultrasound (US)-guided corticosteroid, injected superficial or deep to the fascia, in patients with plantar fasciitis. Thirty patients (24 females [75%] and 6 males [25%]) with unilateral chronic plantar fasciitis were divided into 2 groups according to the corticosteroid injection site: superficial (n = 15) or deep (n = 15) to the plantar fascia. Patient heel pain was measured using a Likert pain scale and the Foot Ankle Outcome Scale (FAOS) for foot disability, evaluated at baseline and repeated in the first and sixth weeks. The plantar fascia and heel pad thicknesses were assessed on US scans at baseline and the sixth week. The groups were similar in age, gender, and body mass index (p > .05 for all). Compared with the baseline values, the Likert pain scale (p < .001 for all) and FAOS subscale (p < .01 for all) scores had improved at the first and sixth week follow-up visits in both groups. Although the plantar fascia thickness had decreased significantly in both groups at the sixth week (p < .001 for both), the heel pad thickness remained unchanged (p > .05 for both). The difference in the FAOS subscales (pain, p = .002; activities of daily living, p = .003; sports/recreational activities, p = .008; quality of life, p = .009) and plantar fascia thickness (p = .049) showed better improvement in the deep than in the superficial injection group. US-guided corticosteroid injections are safe and effective in the short-term therapeutic outcome of chronic plantar fasciitis. Additionally, injection of corticosteroid deep to the fascia might result in greater reduction in plantar fascia thickness, pain, and disability and improved foot-related quality of life. (C) 2017 by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. All rights reserved.