Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, which involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of each foot and connects the heel bone to the toes, the plantar fascia.
It commonly causes a stabbing pain that occurs typically with the first steps in the morning and as you start to move during the day, the pain decreases. But it can return after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting.
Current treatment options include medications like pain relievers that can ease the pain and inflammation, physical therapy, night splints, and orthotics. Other interventional treatments include steroid injection or surgery that may have side effects. Steroid injections tend to provide temporary pain relief and can weaken the plantar fascia, exposing it to a higher likelihood of rupture.
New Study Using Fat Injections
In a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, researchers evaluated the use of perforating fat injections into the sole of the participants to reduce pain and improve patients quality of life.
They used a blunt needle to perforate the fascia in several places, injecting 0.1 milliliters of the person’s fat as the needle was withdrawn. The majority of participants were injected with a total of just over 3 ml of fat.
The study included 14 participants that were divided into 2 groups, one that had the intervention at the start of the study and another one that used night splints and arch supports for 6 months before receiving fat injections. The study lasted for 12 months.
They were advised to limit weight-bearing exercise to 10 minutes per hour, use night splits at least 1 hour per day, and wear supportive shoes without any accessory devices or arch support.
The researchers found that both groups reported less pain following the treatment. The group given the treatment at the start of the study had a greater pain reduction than those treated at the 6 month point.
According to the researchers, the therapy works in several ways. By using a blunt needle, this causes a small injury that stimulates wound healing, and also fat contains stem cells and growth factors that help bring in blood supply to promote healing.
Katherine Lang. (2022, Jan 27). Fat injections could treat food pain in plantar fasciitis. Medical News Today. Retrieved from: