Similar Benefits Seen After Radial Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy or Autologous Blood Injection in Patients With Chronic Plantar Fasciitis-A Retrospective Cohort StudyObjective: To compare the outcomes for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis after extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or autologous blood injection (ABI). Design: Cohort study-retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. Setting: Hospital-based Sports Medicine Outpatient Clinic. Patients: One hundred two consecutive patients with chronic plantar fasciitis, treated with either radial-ESWT (rESWT) (n = 54) or ABI (n = 48), with minimum 3-month follow-up and 96% (98/102) having 6-month follow-up. Mean age 49.5 years and mean duration of symptoms 37.5 months before treatment. Interventions: Patients received either 3 sessions of radial ESWT (one session per week for 3 weeks), or a single ultrasound-guided dry needling and ABI (3 mL whole autologous blood). All patients received standardized after-care, including progressive structured home exercise program of flexibility, strengthening, and proprioception exercises. Main outcome measures: 0 to 10 numerical rating scale (NRS) for self-reported "average pain" and "average stiffness" values. Secondary outcome measures included assessments of local foot function [including Manchester-Oxford Foot Questionnaire (MOXFQ), revised-Foot Function Index] as well as markers of mental health functioning (HAD), global health (EQ-5D-5L), and physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire). Results: This study demonstrated statistically significant improvements in self-reported measures of pain and local foot function after either procedure at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months, but no statistically significant differences were seen between groups at any time-period studied. At 6 months, the average pain using a 0 to 10 NRS was improved from 6.8 ± 1.8 to 4.0 ± 2.7 (P < 0.001) after ESWT and from 7.1 ± 1.6 to 3.8 ± 2.7 (P < 0.001) after ABI. At 6 months, significant improvements were seen following either group using a number of different validated patient-rated outcome measures assessing local foot pain and function, eg, the total score for MOXFQ improved from 56.1 ± 12.8 to 42.5 ± 16.6 (P < 0.001) after ESWT and from 58.8 ± 13.2 to 44.2 ± 19.2 (P < 0.001) after ABI. However, measures of physical activity or wider aspects of patient functioning did not consistently improve from baseline values to follow-up periods. Conclusions: Patients with chronic plantar fasciitis improved to statistically significant extent after either rESWT or ABI procedures, with no significant differences seen between groups. The lack of randomization in this pragmatic study is noted, which may have influenced the outcome seen. Potentially larger and more robust studies are required to investigate this treatment comparison further.
Three Sessions of Radial Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy Gives No Additional Benefit Over "Minimal-Dose" Radial Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Patients With Chronic Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome: A Double-Blinded, Randomized, Controlled TrialObjective: To investigate the outcomes following 3 weekly sessions of radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy (rESWT) in patients with chronic greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) presenting to an NHS Sports Medicine Clinic in the United Kingdom. Design: Double-blinded randomized controlled trial. Setting: A single NHS Sports Medicine Clinic, in the United Kingdom. Patients: One hundred twenty patients in an NHS Sports Medicine clinic presenting with symptoms of GTPS who had failed to improve with a minimum of 3 months of rehabilitation were enrolled in the study and randomized equally to the intervention and treatment groups. Mean age was 60.6 ± 11.5 years; 82% were female, and the mean duration of symptoms was 45.4 ± 33.4 months (range, 6 months to 30 years). Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive either 3 sessions of ESWT at either the "recommended"/"maximally comfortably tolerated" dose or at "minimal dose." All patients received a structured home exercise program involving flexibility, strength, and balance exercises. Main outcome measures: Follow-up was at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. Outcome measures included local hip pain, validated hip PROMs (Oxford hip score, non-arthritic hip score, Victorian Institute of Sport assessment questionnaire), and wider measures of function including sleep (Pittsburgh sleep quality index) and mood (hospital anxiety and depression scale). Results: Results were available for 98% of patients at the 6-month period. There were statistically significant within-group improvements in pain, local function, and sleep seen in both groups. However, fewer benefits were seen in other outcome measures, including activity or mood. Conclusion: There were no time × group interaction effects seen between the groups at any time point, indicating that in the 3 sessions, the "recommended-dose" rESWT had no measurable benefit compared with "minimal dose" rESWT in this group of patients with GTPS. The underlying reason remains unclear; it may be that rESWT is ineffective in the treatment of patients with chronic GTPS, that "minimal dose" rESWT is sufficient for a therapeutic effect, or that a greater number of treatment sessions are required for maximal benefit. These issues need to be considered in further research. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02546128.
Autologous Blood Injection With Dry-Needling vs Dry-Needling Alone Treatment for Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled TrialBackground: Autologous blood injection (ABI) for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis has been promoted as an approach to improve outcomes over standard dry-needling approaches. The purpose of this trial was to investigate if there are improved outcomes following an ultrasonography-guided ABI compared to dry needling alone for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. Methods: A double-blinded (participant-blinded and observer-blinded) RCT within a single clinic enrolled 90 patients with symptoms of plantar fasciitis that had failed to improve with a minimum of 3 months of rehabilitation. The mean age was 49.5±8.9 years, 67% were female, and the mean symptom duration was 40.0±28.2 months (range: 8 months-10 years). Participants were randomized to receive ABI or an identical dry-needle fenestration-procedure without coadministration of autologous blood. All participants received identical structured rehabilitation and were followed up at 2, 6, 12, and 26 weeks. Outcome measures included local foot pain, validated foot patient-reported outcome measures (Foot Function Index-revised, Manchester-Oxford Foot Questionnaire, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure), measures of general function and "ability" (EuroQol [EQ]-5D-5L, Oswestry Disability Index), specific measures of activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire), sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), and mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Results: There were no significant between-group differences seen at any time-point studied. There were a number of statistically significant within-group improvements for local foot pain and function in both groups comparing baseline/follow-up data. Overall, levels of pain improved by 25% by 6 weeks and by 50% at 6 months. There were improvements in some generalized function markers. Activity rates did not change, demonstrating that improvements in pain did not necessarily influence physical activity. Conclusion: Coadministration of 3 mL of autologous blood had no additional effect compared to a dry-needling procedure alone for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.