NRI Pulse Staff Report
Atlanta, GA, April 16: An ultrasound technique is showing promise as a quick and minimally invasive treatment for the common and painful foot condition known as plantar fasciitis, reports HealthDay News.
“While the long-term outcome studies are in progress, the (short-term) results we have seen to date are very promising,” said study lead author Dr. Rahul Razdan, an interventional radiologist with Advanced Medical Imaging in Lincoln,Nebraska.
Plantar fasciitis is essentially an “overuse injury” resulting from inflammation of a band of tissue in the sole of the foot that links the heel bone to the base of the toes, according to The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society. The standard treatment includes painkillers, cortisone shots, icing, heating, massage, silicone arch supports, and physical therapy centered on the benefits of controlled stretching. For some patients, invasive surgery is another option.
Razdan’s team tested the ultrasound technique on 65 patients who sought care at an interventional radiology clinic in 2013 and 2014. These patients had failed to respond to standard treatments. The procedure involved removing the damaged, pain-generating tissue using ultrasound imaging and ultrasonic energy delivered through a needle-like device, while sparing healthy foot tissue.
In total, average treatment time was about a minute and a half, and sedation was not used, Razdan said. By two weeks after treatment, on an average, patients showed more than a 90 percent improvement in their foot condition, compared with their pre-treatment status.
These improvements appeared to persist for at least six months, with no notable complications, Razdan was quoted as saying.
Razdan and his colleagues recently presented their findings at the annual meeting of the Society of Interventional Radiology in Atlanta.