The Whole Foot: Blog

Tag Archives: science

Platelet-rich Plasma and Plantar Fasciitis

     Although it has been around for over 15 years and has been used with some success in treating difficult-to-heal wounds, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has come into the literature recently for the treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions including tennis elbow, patellar and Achilles tendonitis. In addition, the successful use of PRP in the treatment of the injuries of many sports figures has been widely publicized. Some physicians that treat these problems are beginning to offer these treatments to their patients, sometimes as a last resort before surgery, sometimes, unfortunately, as an initial  treatment.

Why is the plantar fascia important?

The plantar fascia is a crucial structure in the foot. It is also often painful. Scarring in the plantar fascia near its attachment in the heel is the most common cause of heel pain and is also sometimes referred to as “heel spur syndrome”. When non-operative care for this condition fails to heal it, surgery is sometimes recommended. Although alternatives do exist, surgery on the plantar fascia is usually a cutting or release of the plantar fascia either open (meaning through an incision 1-2 inches in length) or endoscopically (meaning through smaller ΒΌ inch incisions using a fiber optic camera for visualization). This is called plantar fasciotomy.