What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a painful and debilitating condition. It primarily affects athletes, people whose jobs require them to stand for long periods of time. And those who put heavy stress on their feet. It involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, the strands of connective tissue that run along the sole of the foot, linking the heel of the foot to the ball and toes.
The plantar fascia protects and relieves pressure from the bottom of your foot because it acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring. However, it can tear due to repetitive tension and stress. When it is stretched and torn, it becomes inflamed, resulting in plantar fasciitis.
The inflammation can be caused by trauma from an injury, or from overuse of the tissue. It usually manifests as sharp pain in the heel or sole of the foot and an inability to point the toes upward. If left untreated, it can lead to other and more severe orthopaedic conditions in the foot, shin, and knee.
How can Regenerative Therapy be used in Plantar fasciitis treatment?
Traditional treatment for plantar fasciitis often required a combination of orthopaedic foot supports, physical therapy, and cortisone injections. Most people recover completely within a year. In extreme cases, surgery is used to release the tension on the plantar fascia.
However, the best way to actually heal the injury and provide long-lasting improvement is through orthobiologic Regenerative treatments such as Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). For actual tears in the plantar fascia, mesenchymal cell treatment may also be a viable option. These treatments aim to stimulate the connective tissue’s ability to heal and regenerate the torn plantar fascia. This can permanently provide pain relief and prevent further damage as you continue to enjoy your daily physical activities.
These orthobiologic injections for plantar fasciitis often work better than the traditional cortisone shots, since they not only soothe the pain but can also promote regeneration of damaged tissue. Repeated cortisone shots can actually lead to further damage to the affected tendons, but the same is not true of stem cell-based therapy.
Prolotherapy is a non-surgical treatment that involves targeted injections. The solution used in this treatment contains a local anaesthetic and concentrated dextrose (steroids are not used). This procedure stimulates the tissues’ natural ability to repair.
Afterwards, this may be followed by a stem cell treatment to aid in regeneration.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
There is another non-surgical treatment for plantar fasciitis which involves platelet-rich plasma. This stimulates the tissue to release growth factors and attract other cells.
This is especially useful for helping stem cells concentrate on the damaged area of the connective tissue.
It is an autologous procedure where the platelets are harvested from the patient’s own blood. After separating the platelets in a centrifuge, it is injected into the source of pain or point of injury.
The key is to provide the treatments to not only the Plantar Fasciitis, but also the ankle when necessary. If you had a previous ankle injury, it is essential to heal both injuries to the point where the foot can return to normal, healthy function. That is the path to returning to all of the activities you enjoy that depend on a strong, painless foot and ankle.
When do I See Results?
Regenerative therapy for plantar fasciitis only takes a few hours to complete. It is performed in an outpatient setting, no general anaesthesia is required and most patients don’t need post-operative pain medication. Patients will be able to go home almost immediately after the injection is done. Since this therapy is an orthobiological treatment that requires time for the cells to restore the damaged areas in the foot, patients will not feel the effect of the injection immediately. On average, most patients will start to see signs of improvement in the form of reduced pain or increased function within 30 days.
Is this Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Safe?
Regenerative Therapy for plantar fasciitis is a safe alternative to surgery and other traditional plantar fasciitis treatments. Since we only use Cells and PRP that were harvested from the same patient, the risk of infections or rejection is virtually non-existent.
Am I a Candidate for Regenerative therapy?
In general, Regenerative Therapy can be utilised by anyone, regardless of the age, race, or gender. However, in order to determine if you are a good candidate and will benefit the most from this treatment, you will need to schedule an appointment with our Clinic to have assessment done by our Consultant, who will review your medical records and determine if you are a qualified candidate for our therapy. The choice of treatment is then at the discretion of the Consultant and is based on your unique case.
*Regenerative Therapy is not suitable for all conditions and all patients. Only the doctor will be able to advise if you are a suitable candidate. The final outcome of the treatment and extent of improvement varies from one patient to another.