For active individuals, plantar fasciitis (PF) is one of the most clinically diagnosed causes of heel pain. When conservative treatment fails, one of the next most commonly used treatments includes corticosteroid injections. Although PF has been identified as a degenerative condition, rather than inflammatory, corticosteroid injection is still commonly prescribed. However, the literature has not been examined to determine the effect of corticosteroid injection on PF.
Focused Clinical Question:
Are corticosteroid injections more effective than other interventions (placebo, platelet-rich plasma, and tenoxicam injections) in the short- and long-term treatment of PF?
Summary of Key Findings:
Corticosteroid injections are not more effective in the long-term treatment of PF pain than other treatments (platelet-rich plasma, tenoxicam).
Clinical Bottom Line:
The level 2 and 3 evidence shows that corticosteroids are more effective than placebo injections but are no more effective than tenoxicam injections and perhaps less effective than platelet-rich plasma treatment.
Strength of Recommendation:
Level 2 and 3 evidence suggests that corticosteroid injections are not more effective in the long-term treatment of PF than platelet-rich plasma or tenoxicam.
The authors are with the Div of Athletic Training, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA.