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RSNA: New Treatment Beneficial in Plantar Fasciitis

Ultrasound-guided technique 95 percent effective in patients who failed conservative therapy

MONDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with plantar fasciitis who have not responded to conservative therapy may benefit from a 15-minute ultrasound-guided percutaneous treatment that includes dry-needling and a steroid injection, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America held Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Chicago.

Luca M. Sconfienza, M.D., of the University of Genoa, Italy, and colleagues treated 44 patients whose symptoms had not improved with conservative therapies such as rest, exercises to stretch the fascia, night splints and arch supports.

The researchers found that symptoms completely resolved after two or three weeks in 39 patients. In three patients, they noted that symptoms worsened during the first few days after treatment but resolved in about three weeks. Only two patients did not have a significant response to the treatment.

"Ultrasound-guided treatment of plantar fasciitis is a non-invasive and successful technique that allows it to be more precise when injecting the steroid, avoiding the fascia," the authors conclude. "The dry-needling performed on plantar fascia and on periostium produces a local hyperemia that can be compared to a surgical debridement. The procedure is quicker, cheaper and not painful if compared to shockwaves."

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