Which Treatment Method Is Better in the Treatment of Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: Corticosteroid Injection, Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy, or Radiofrequency Thermal Lesioning?

YAPICI F., GÜR V., Sari I. F., KARAKÖSE R., TARDUŞ İ., Ucpunar H.

Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, vol.113, no.5, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


BACKGROUND: Chronic plantar fasciitis (CPF) is a common disease that has various treatment options. This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of three of these options: corticosteroid injection (CSI), extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), and radiofrequency thermal lesioning (RTL). METHODS: The records of 229 patients treated with CSI (n = 81), ESWT (n = 76), or RTL (n = 72) were retrospectively analyzed. Visual analog scale scores, patient satisfaction-related success rates, repeated treatment rates, and initial treatment change rates were compared. RESULTS: Mean ± SD follow-up was 19.0 ± 4.5 months. Baseline clinical characteristics, mean visual analog scale scores (before treatment and at months 3, 6, and 12), patient satisfaction and success rates (at months 6 and 12), and repeated treatment and initial treatment change rates were similar between treatment groups. No complications were observed after the treatments. CONCLUSIONS: All three options-CSI, ESWT, and RTL-were found to be safe and effective in treating CPF, with similar outcomes up to 1 year. Use of CSIs is advantageous because it is more accessible than the other treatments. Similarly, the noninvasive nature of ESWT is glaring among other minimally invasive options. Therefore, the first-line treatment modality of CPF can be CSI or ESWT, depending on the patient's and physician's joint preference; RTL treatment should be tried in patients who do not respond to these treatments.