Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis With Botulinum Toxin

Foot Ankle Int. 2017 Jan;38(1):1-7. doi: 10.1177/1071100716666364. Epub 2016 Oct 1.


Background: This study examined the effect of botulinum toxin upon plantar fasciitis through a randomized, controlled, and blinded trial.

Materials: Between 2012 and 2015, 50 patients presented with plantar fasciitis. Twenty-five patients each randomly received an IncobotulinumtoxinA (IBTA) or saline injection of their affected foot. Pre- and postinjection function and pain were graded with the Foot and Ankle Ability Measures (FAAM) and visual analog scale (VAS), respectively. All 50 study patients who randomly received either placebo or IBTA presented at 6 and 12 months after injection.

Results: At 6 months, the mean FAAM increased from 35.9 to 40.9 of 100, and the mean pain score decreased from 8.4 to 7.9 of 10 within the placebo group. At 6 months, the mean FAAM increased from 36.3 to 73.8 of 100, and mean pain score decreased from 7.2 to 3.6 of 10 within the IBTA group. These postinjection scores were significantly better than the placebo group ( P = .01). At 12 months after injection, the IBTA group maintained significantly better function and pain than the placebo group ( P < .05). By that time, 0 (0%) and 3 (12%) patients who received IBTA and saline, respectively, underwent surgery for recalcitrant plantar fasciitis ( P < .005).

Conclusion: Compared with placebo saline injection, using IBTA to treat plantar fasciitis resulted in significantly better improvement in foot function and pain. IBTA also lessened the need for operative treatment of plantar fasciitis.

Level of evidence: I, Randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study.

Keywords: IncobotulinumtoxinA; botulinum toxin; placebo; plantar fasciitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / physiopathology
  • Fasciitis, Plantar / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intralesional
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuromuscular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage


  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A
  • incobotulinumtoxinA