Successful use of platelet-rich plasma for chronic plantar fasciitis

HSS J. 2013 Jul;9(2):129-33. doi: 10.1007/s11420-012-9321-9. Epub 2013 May 18.


Background: There are limited data on the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for treating chronic plantar fasciitis.

Questions/purposes: The purpose of this study was to document the clinical outcomes of patients who were treated with PRP injections for plantar fasciitis to determine the degree to which injections were able to decrease the visual analogue scale (VAS) pain scores and improve patient reported functional scores.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of 23 consecutive patients treated with PRP for chronic plantar fasciitis (symptoms lasting over 6 months). Patients returned after 4 weeks for a postinjection follow-up. A second injection was given if significant improvement was not obtained by that time. Postinjection foot and ankle outcome scores (FAOS), 12-item short form health survey (SF-12), and VAS scores were collected at a minimum of 6 months follow-up.

Results: Thirty injections were given in 23 patients, with one patient lost to follow-up. The mean VAS score improved from 7 to 4. The pain, symptoms, and quality of life subscales of the FAOS and SF-12 significantly improved from preinjection scores. Five patients went on to have endoscopic release of the plantar fascia at an average of 94 days after the last injection (range, 22-314 days). Six patients obtained full resolution of symptoms while the majority of patients were able to forgo surgery due to improvement from the PRP injection.

Conclusion: These results provide preliminary information on the safety and efficiency of PRP injection as treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis.

Keywords: foot and ankle outcome score; plantar fasciitis; platelet-rich plasma; ultrasound guided.