Background: Plantar fasciitis (PF) is the most common cause of heel pain. Previous work has shown promising results regarding platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections for the treatment of PF. The aim of this study is to prospectively compare the efficacy of PRP and autologous blood injections in a randomized anonymized patient group to treat PF.
Methods: PF patients who failed at least 6 weeks of noninvasive conservative treatment aged between 40 and 65 years were recruited to be in the study. Patients were randomly assigned into group A (PRP) or group B (autologous blood). Injections were performed under ultrasonographic guidance in a double-anonymized manner. The groups were compared according to preinjection and postinjection health-related quality of life (HRQoL) scores measured with Foot and Ankle Disability Index (FADI) and visual analog scale (VAS). Intragroup comparative analysis was also performed at different time points. Independent t tests and repeated measures analyses of variance were used for statistical analysis, with P <.05 set for statistical significance.
Results: Group A (PRP) included 30 (19 female, 11 male) patients with mean age 52.2 ±6.3; group B (ABI) included 30 (20 female, 10 male) patients with mean age 52.7 ± 6.5. Both groups had similar body mass index (P = .719). No injection-related complications were recorded. After treatment, both groups had improved FADI and VAS scores compared to the baseline. Although the mean HRQoL scores were higher in the PRP group, there was no significant difference between the 2 groups (PVAS = .589; PFADI = .742).
Conclusion: Participants with plantar fasciitis improved statistically significantly after either PRP or ABI injections compared with baseline HRQoL scores, with no significant differences seen between the groups.
Level of evidence: Level I, prospective randomized double-anonymized clinical comparative study.
Keywords: autologous blood injection; heel pain; plantar fasciitis; plantar fasciopathy; platelet-rich plasma; randomized controlled trial; ultrasound.