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Plantar fascitis is a degenerative tissue disease rather than an inflammation. Many treatment options are available like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroid injections, orthosis, and physiotherapy. This study compared the effects of Physiotherapy (Stretching exercise) vs local injection of platelet-rich plasma in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis.
Patients were divided randomly into 2 groups of 25 each. Patients were assessed before and after treatment at 4 weeks, 8 wk and at 4-month follow-up.
Mean visual analog scale score in Physiotherapy (Stretching exercise) and platelet-rich plasma groups decreased from 7.24 and 7.02 before treatment to 2.82 and 3.34 at final follow-up. Mean AOFAS score in the physiotherapy and Platelet-rich plasma groups improved from 51.56 and 53.72 before treatment to 87.24 and 81.32 at final follow-up. There was a significant improvement in visual analog scale score and AOFAS score in the Physiotherapy ( Stretching exercise ) and platelet-rich plasma groups at 4 weeks and at 4-month follow-up.
The authors concluded that Physiotherapy is also as effective as Platelet-rich plasma injection in treating chronic plantar fascitis.
Plantar fascitis is a common cause of heel pain. The diagnosis is based on history and clinical examination. It is well acceptable that reduced plantar flexion, obesity, prolonged weight bearing and are risk factors
Platelet-rich plasma local injection is an impressive latest concept in treating tendon and ligament pathologies, including plantar fasciitis. Platelet-rich plasma injection delivers platelets and growth factors in high concentrations directly to the site of injury, which otherwise is inaccessible to growth factors as a result of hypovascularity and hypocellularity.
In our study we included 50 patients with chronic plantar fasciitis and 25 patients in each group. Patients diagnosed on the history and physical examination, including heel pain and tenderness over the plantar- medial aspect of the calcaneal tuberosity, near the insertion of the plantar fascia. In our study we included patient who did not responded to conservative treatment for 6 weeks with unilateral pain. Treatment with NSAIDs was discontinued 10 days before treatment.
Patients were divided into 2 groups. Group A was assigned for Physiotherapy in the form of toe walking twice daily for 10 minutes and roller stretching exercises for 3 minutes twice daily, whereas Group B was receive Platelet-rich plasma local injection at the maximum point of tenderness in the heel with a 22-g needle using a single skin portal and 4 to 5 penetrations of the fascia.
Injections were given under aseptic conditions as a day procedure. After the injection, patients were advised to apply ice for pain relief if required and to continue to wear comfortable shoes with cushions. All patients had physical therapy to stretch the calf muscle and plantar fascia. Patients were assessed before treatment and during follow-up at 4 weeks and 4 months.
Assessment was conducted with the visual analog scale for pain and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Ankle and Hindfoot score. In groups A and B, before treatment visual analog scale and AOFAS scores were compared with visual analog scale and AOFAS scores at 4 weeks and 4 months of follow-up.
At 4 weeks of follow-up, Group B had better outcome (low visual analog scale score and high AOFAS score) compared with group A, but the difference was not significant. At 4 months of follow-up, group A had a significantly higher AOFAS score than group B, but the difference in visual ana- log scale score was not significant .DiscussionMany authors consider plantar fasciitis a degenerative tissue condition rather than inflammation at the site of origin of the plantar fascia at the medial tuberosity of the calcaneous. Degeneration of collagen occurs at the site of the lesion because of microtears of the fascia that do not heal. The histologic features of chronic plantar fasciitis show no inflammatory cell invasion at the site of the lesion, and the normal fascia and surrounding tissue are replaced by angiofibroblastic hyperplastic tissue.
Platelet-rich plasma injection delivers platelets with growth factors in high concentrations directly to the site of the lesion, which otherwise is inaccessible to growth factors because of hypovascularity and hypocellularity. The cytokines in platelet alpha granules affect the healing stages necessary to reverse chronic plantar fasciitis by enhancing fibroblast migration and proliferation, increase vascularization, and improve collagen deposition. Previous studies described platelet- rich plasma injection as an effective treatment option for chronic plantar fasciitis Monto11.Shetty et al12 compared the effective ness of platelet-rich plasma and corticosteroid injections in 60 patients and found no significant difference at 6 months of follow-up. The our current study we found that physiotherapy is as good as local platelet-rich plasma at 4 weeks and 4 months of follow-up.
Platelet-rich plasma showed significant difference compare to physiotherapy group at 4 weeks of follow-up. At 4 months of follow-up, physiotherapy had significant better outcome compare to platelet-rich plasma injection, based on AOFAS score, but both had the same outcomes, based on visual analog scale score.
The sample size in the current study was small, and further study with a larger sample is required to confirm the results and required long duration of follow-up.ConclusionThe authors concluded that Physiotherapy is as effective as Platelet-rich plasma injection in treating chronic plantar fasciitis at 4 months of follow-up and to avoid modern, high tech and expensive options where we can achieve same results with traditional treatment.
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