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Platelet-Rich Plasma vs. Corticosteroids for Plantar Fasciitis

feet pain sarasotaPlantar fasciitis is a condition that causes a bruised or aching feeling in the heel of a person’s foot. It is the result of inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. While it is a relatively common condition, some people have a chronic form, which can be difficult to treat and incredibly debilitating. There are multiple treatment options for this condition, including physiotherapy, corticosteroid injections, and, more recently, platelet-rich plasma injections.

What Are the Differences?

While both corticosteroid and platelet-rich plasma injections involve getting an injection into the fascia, they work very differently to solve the pain problem. PRP utilizes your own blood that has been extracted, spun in a special container in a centrifuge, and injected into the injured area (with the use of ultrasound for guidance). The platelets have healing and anti-inflammation properties that work to strengthen the fascia and regenerate the weakened structure, while reducing pain. Corticosteroids are also shots that can be delivered with the use of ultrasound. Yet corticosteroids only reduce inflammation and pain.

Which Method Is More Effective?

Both corticosteroids and PRP have been shown to be effective in mitigating pain related to plantar fasciitis. While some studies suggest that corticosteroids and platelet-rich plasma are equal, other studies, including a longitudinal study published in Foot & Ankle International found that PRP results were more durable – meaning those who received PRP had longer lasting results.

What Are the Drawbacks?

Both treatment options have their drawbacks. While each procedure is relatively safe, the long-term effects of corticosteroids can potentially lead to more problems down the road. Over time, the steroid injections can actually weaken the fascia instead of strengthen it. This means that the pain may actually get worse with time, and make healing more difficult. While PRP does not have these same risks, it comes at a price. PRP is not typically covered by insurance; therefore, it is typically more expensive than steroid injections, and it’s possible that you may need more than one injection.

Corticosteroids and PRP have both been shown to be effective against the pain of plantar fasciitis. But PRP appears to offer longer lasting relief, which makes it worth considering if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. Dr. Bennett can help you figure out what solution is best for you. Call our practice today at 941-953-5509 to schedule a consultation.


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