Plantar fasciitis affects 2 million patients per year. Ten percent of cases are chronic, with thickened plantar fascia. Treatment may lead to prolonged recovery, foot instability, and scar. The authors hypothesized that perforating fat injections would decrease plantar fascia thickness, reduce pain, and improve quality of life. Adults with plantar fascia greater than 4 mm for whom standard treatment had failed were included in a prospective, randomized, crossover pilot study. Group 1 (intervention) was followed for 12 months. Group 2 was observed for 6 months, injected, and then followed for 6 months. Validated patient reported outcome measures, ultrasound, and complications were assessed. Group 1 had nine female patients and group 2 had five patients. A total of 2.6 ± 1.6 ml of fat was injected per foot at one to two sites. In group 1, plantar fascia thickness decreased from screening at 6 and 12 months (p < 0.05). Group 2 had decreased plantar fascia thickness from screening to 6 months after injection (p < 0.05). Group 1 had pain improvements at 6 and 12 months compared with screening (p < 0.01). Group 2 reported no pain difference after injections (p > 0.05). Group 1 had improved activities of daily living and sports activity at 6 and 12 months compared with screening (p < 0.003). Group 2 noted increased sports activity 6 months after injection compared with screening (p < 0.03). In conclusion, perforating fat injections for chronic plantar fasciitis demonstrate significant improvement in pain, function, and plantar fascia thickness.

An injection of fat in the sole of the foot could help with pain, researchers say (

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Plantar fasciitis: Fat injections may treat foot pain (