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Stepping into Relief: New Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis – Exploring PRP and TENEx Procedures

Plantar fasciitis, a common ailment causing heel pain, has long been a challenge for athletes and individuals with active lifestyles. The landscape of plantar fasciitis treatment is evolving, and two innovative procedures, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and TENEx (Tenotomy with Needle Expansion), are emerging as game-changers. In this blog post, we’ll explore these cutting-edge treatments, shedding light on their potential benefits for those seeking effective relief. Additionally, we’ll delve into a recent clinical trial that compares the effectiveness of PRP versus steroid injections in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP):

PRP is a regenerative therapy gaining popularity in the sports medicine realm. In this procedure, a small amount of the patient’s blood is drawn, processed to concentrate the platelets, and then injected into the affected area. The growth factors in platelets stimulate tissue repair and reduce inflammation, offering a potential solution for plantar fasciitis.

TENEx (Ultrasound guided Tenotomy):

TENEx is a minimally invasive procedure designed to target damaged tissue in the plantar fascia. Using a specialized device, ultrasonic energy is delivered to break down and remove damaged tissue. This technique promotes healing by encouraging the growth of healthy tissue in the affected area, making it an attractive option for those seeking quicker recovery times.

Clinical Trial: PRP vs. Steroid Injection

A recent clinical trial published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders aimed to assess the effect of PRP compared with steroid injection in the treatment of plantar fasciitis. The study involved 90 participants and used the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scoring systems to evaluate functional mobility and pain before and after the intervention for three and six months, respectively.

Key Findings:

The PRP group showed better outcomes than the steroid group during the six-month follow-up period.

Significant reductions in pain (VAS score) and improvements in functional mobility (AOFAS scores) were observed in the PRP group.

Plantar fascia thickness was significantly reduced in the PRP group compared to the steroid group at six months.

Conclusion:

The results from the clinical trial highlight the potential of PRP as an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis. As the landscape of sports medicine continues to evolve, innovative procedures like TENEx, along with evidence-backed treatments like PRP, offer hope for individuals dealing with the challenges of plantar fasciitis.

If you’re considering these treatments, consulting with Dr. Goodman can help determine a personalized approach to get you back to peak performance.

References:

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2023; 24: 172. doi: 10.1186/s12891-023-06277-1. PMCID: PMC9989576. PMID: 36882804.