Effective treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis with dorsiflexion night splints: a crossover prospective randomized outcome study

Foot Ankle Int. 1998 Jan;19(1):10-8. doi: 10.1177/107110079801900103.


Chronic plantar fasciitis frustrates patients and treating physicians. Our hypothesis was that use of a dorsiflexion night splint for 1 month would effectively treat patients with recalcitrant plantar fasciitis. A 6-month randomized crossover study included 37 patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. Patients were treated with dorsiflexion night splints for 1 month. Group A wore splints for the 1st month and group B for the 2nd month. No splints were used in either group for the final 4 months of the study. No other medications, stretching, or strengthening exercises were prescribed. Eighty-eight percent of patients who completed the study improved. Eighty percent of the involved feet improved subjectively. Results of the AOFAS Ankle-Hindfoot Rating System and the Mayo Clinical Scoring System demonstrated significant improvement for both groups during the period of splint wear. Improvements were maintained at study completion. Response to splinting did not correlate with foot type, degree of obesity, or the presence of heel spur on radiographs. We believe dorsiflexion splints provide relief from the symptoms of recalcitrant plantar fasciitis in the majority of patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ankle / physiopathology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Fasciitis / physiopathology
  • Fasciitis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Foot Diseases / physiopathology
  • Foot Diseases / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metatarsophalangeal Joint / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Prospective Studies
  • Splints*