Chronic heel pain at times cannot be cured with icing, stretching, anti-inflammatories and orthotics alone. Surgery doesn't have to be the next alternative. Your podiatrist should discuss all treatment options available for heel pain. platelet rich plasma (PRP) and extra corporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) are a great alternative and have been shown to be very effective.
For PRP, the patient's blood is drawn in-office and spun in a centrifuge machine to obtain platelet rich material. This material contains an abundant amount of growth factors. Using ultrasound guidance, the platelet rich plasma is injected into the plantar fascia at area of scar tissue/pain.
This injection changes a chronic condition to an acute condition and the growth factors will then be able to address and heal the inflammation. Patients are placed in a boot or cast for two week during the healing process. This same procedure can be used in other tendon areas such as the Achilles tendon.
ESWT uses soundwaves to eliminate plantar fasciosis pain and helps repair the plantar fascia. ESWT has been known to initiate the formation of new blood vessels. This acts to jump-start a normal inflammatory response allowing plantar fascia repair. The shock waves can also act to over-stimulate pain transmission nerves, leading to a reduction in sensitivity and discomfort.
This non-invasive procedure takes approximately 20 minutes in a surgery center setting. Right after the procedure patients can return to normal daily activities in stable shoes.