Ultrasonographic appearance of the plantar fasciitis

Clin Imaging. Sep-Oct 2003;27(5):353-7. doi: 10.1016/s0899-7071(02)00591-0.


Purpose: To study high frequency sonographic in the examination of plantar fasciitis (PF), which is a common cause of heel pain.

Materials and methods: Our study was done with 25 PF (21 unilateral, 4 bilateral) and 15 control cases of similar age, weight and gender. In this study, the plantar fascial thickness (mainly), fascial echogenity and biconvexity were examined using 7.5 MHz linear phase array transducer. Perifascial fluid collection, fascial rupture and fascial calcification that are rarely seen were also examined.

Results: The fascial thickness ranges for the PF cases: for the symptomatic heels: 3.9-9.1 mm (mean: 4.75 +/- 1.52 mm), for the asymptomatic heels: 2.0-5.9 mm (mean: 3.37 +/- 1.0 mm) and for the control group: 2.1-4.7 mm (3.62 +/- 0.68 mm). The results were significantly different in Group I for symptomatic heels and the control group statistically for PF (P < .05). The echogenity of plantar fascia and biconvexity of plantar fascia were the major criteria for symptomatic heels. In three heels (10%), perifascial fluid was diagnosed, in three heels (10%) fascial calcification, in one heel (3%) partial fascial rupture. Subcalcaneal spur was encountered sonographically in both cases of Groups I and II.

Conclusion: Ultrasonography (US) is the first step for PF, because of its easy and quick performance, availability and high sensitivity of diagnosis, low-cost and free radiation.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Fascia / diagnostic imaging
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ultrasonography