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Jul 10, 2021

Are PRP injections better than corticosteroid injections for plantar fasciitis?

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis by Fei et al. attempted to answer whether PRP was more effective than steroid injections for relieving pain and function in patients with plantar fasciitis. In this study, twelve randomized controlled trials that included 653 patients were analyzed. The results showed that the patients in the PRP group had a significant improvement in pain and function compared to the PRP group at 6-months, 1-year and 1.5 years after the injections.

Conclusion: The authors found that compared to a steroid injection, PPR injections were more effective in relieving pain and improving function.

What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the heel bone to the base of the toes. Plantar fasciitis implies inflammation, but this condition is a result of degenerative changes at the origin of the plantar fascia tissue and a common cause of heel pain.

How is plantar fasciitis treated?

Conservative treatment often includes insoles, physiotherapy, stretching exercises, ultrasound, and shock wave therapy. Steroid or corticosteroid injections are often offered if conservative treatments fail.

Why does PRP work for plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis was once thought to be an inflammatory disease, but is now recognized as a degenerative process. Histologically, normal plantar fascia cells become disorganized and the tissue becomes thickened (Zhang et al. 2018).

PRP injections have been used to treat various chronic degenerative diseases by releasing growth factors that activate and promote tissue healing. PRP often takes time to reach its maximum effect and is superior to steroids in the mid to long-term follow-ups.

To learn more about nonoperative procedures for plantar fasciitis and a consultation to see if you are a candidate contact us at:

(781) 591-7855

20 Walnut St

Suite 14

Wellesley MA 02481


  1. Fei X, Li L, Lingjiao H, Wei C, Zhou X. Platelet-rich Plasma Has Better Mid-term Clinical Results than Traditional Steroid injection for Plantar Fasciitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Orthopaedics and Traumatology: Surgery and Research (2021).
  2. Zhang, J., Nie, D., Rocha, J. L., Hogan, M. V., & Wang, J. H. (2018). Characterization of the structure, cells, and cellular mechanobiological response of human plantar fascia. Journal of tissue engineering, 9, 2041731418801103.

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