Cortisone Injections for Plantar Fasciitis


Cortisone injections for plantar fasciitis become a treatment option when conservative management of the condition is unsuccessful. When evaluating the effectiveness of a conservative treatment plan it’s important to note that multiple treatments applied within the same time frame have a much higher success rate than treatments that have been implemented one after the other, but never in tandem.

While cortisone injections for plantar fasciitis are preferable to surgical treatments certain risks are inherent with this procedure so it’s best to persevere with conservative treatments until it is clear that the condition with not be resolved in this fashion. Treating plantar fasciitis requires time and patience, and continuous treatment may be required for several months before tangible results are observed.

Some cases may persist for a year before symptoms decline, and treatment must be continued for three months after the physical discomfort associated with this condition has been resolved, so cortisone injections should not be considered in the first several months of recovery in order to allow adequate time for non-invasive techniques to work.

Surgery is generally used as a last resort for treating the symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis, and cortisone injections are administered before surgery is considered. Because there are risks associated with cortisone injections they are not considered for immediate use in the treatment of plantar fasciitis; there is also a limit on how much cortisone can be administered to a single patient within a particular period of time.

Injections are particularly effective because the cortisone is administered directly into the inflamed tissues, but because the underlying issues are not corrected it should not be viewed as a cure but rather an intensive and abrupt method for reducing inflammation. A comprehensive treatment plan for plantar fasciitis must therefore necessarily include a multi-pronged approach that encourages reduced activity levels, orthotic devices and/or inserts, stretching exercises, night splints and any other measures deemed suitable by a healthcare provider.

Once the decision is made to use injections cortisone is typically administered every two months until symptoms are resolved or until three injections have been given. Some of the associated risks include increased pain levels 24-72 hours post-injection, plantar fascia rupture, superficial skin infection, heel fat pad atrophy, lateral planteral nerve injury, and calcaneal osteomyelitis.

Additionally, there is the risk that a small amount of cortisone may be leaked into the bloodstream, causing systemic side-effects to occur. While diabetics are more sensitive to changes in blood sugar levels a variety of patients may experience fluctuating blood glucose levels and minor reactions such as flushed skin. The long-term effect of cortisol treatments on patients is relatively unknown, however, introducing synthetic hormones into the body for extended periods of time is not recommended.

Cortisone injections for plantar fasciitis will reduce inflammation levels and provide relief of pain symptoms but they will not cure the condition or treat the underlying problems. Because there are several risks associated with this type of treatment injections are often used only as a last resort and in context with several other conservative treatment options, though it is still a preferable to running surgical interference with a patient who may respond well to this type of intervention.

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