Treatment Outcomes of Corticosteroid Injection and Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy as Two Primary Therapeutic Methods for Acute Plantar Fasciitis, A Prospective Randomized Clinical Trial

The outcome of corticosteroid injection (CSI) and extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) as primary treatment of acute plantar fasciitis has been debated. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate and compare the therapeutic effects of CSI and ESWT in patients with acute (<6-week duration) symptomatic plantar fasciitis. Of the 116 eligible patients, 68 were randomized to 2 equal groups of 34 patients, each undergoing either ESWT or CSI. The ESWT method included 2000 impulses with energy of 0.15 mJ/mm2 and a total energy flux density of 900 mJ/mm2 for 3 consecutive sessions at 1-week intervals. In the CSI group, 40 mg
of methyl prednisolone acetate plus 1 mL of lidocaine 2% was injected into the maximal tenderness point at the inframedial calcaneal tuberosity. The success and recurrence rates and pain intensity measured using the visual analog scale, were recorded and compared at the 3-month follow-up visit. The pain intensity had
reduced significantly in all patients undergoing either technique. However, the value and trend of pain reduction in the CSI group was significantly greater than those in the ESWT group (p < .0001). In the ESWT and CSI groups, 19 (55.9%) and 5 (14.7%) patients experienced treatment failure, respectively. Age, gender, body
mass index, and recurrence rate were similar between the 2 groups (p > .05). Both ESWT and CSI can be used as the primary and/or initial treatment option for treating patients with acute plantar fasciitis; however, the CSI technique had better therapeutic outcomes.