Public Release: 

Interventional radiology treatment relieves chronic plantar fasciitis

Research from Society of Interventional Radiology's Annual Scientific Meeting shows image-guided, ultrasonic technology may hold key to conquering a notoriously difficult condition

Society of Interventional Radiology

ATLANTA--Patients suffering from chronic plantar fasciitis now have a new weapon against this debilitating foot ailment, according to research presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's Annual Scientific Meeting. Researchers utilized ultrasound imaging and specific ultrasonic energy to penetrate, emulsify and remove diseased fasciitis tissue. Permanently removing damaged, pain-generating tissue allowed room for healthy tissue to regrow in its place, restoring normal function.

"Plantar fasciitis is so ubiquitous and such a difficult condition to live with, and yet patients have been limited in their treatment options," said Rahul Razdan, M.D., one of the study's researchers and an interventional radiologist at Advanced Medical Imaging in Lincoln, Neb. "While standard treatments, such as pain medication and physical therapy, can offer some relief, there have been no permanent answers. Consequently, safe and effective definitive treatments are highly desirable," he noted.

In the study, 100 patients were treated, beginning in August 2013. The patients presented with chronic, refractory plantar fasciopathy, and all patients had previously failed to respond to medications, activity modification and arch supports. Before treatment, patients reported how their foot pain affected their ability to manage everyday life through the Foot and Ankle Disability Index (FADI). FADI scores were collected from the patients at two weeks, six weeks and six months post treatment.

Two weeks after treatment, greater than 90 percent of patients reported improvement in symptoms, and these improvements were maintained at six months. Patients also reported being highly satisfied with the treatment and had no treatment-related complications.

"It is important for patients suffering from chronic plantar fasciitis to know that they have treatment options," added Razdan. "We have patients who are in so much pain they can't even play with their kids or take their dog for a walk. This ultrasonic treatment can give patients their lives back and let them enjoy their lives. We are excited to see significant results from this treatment," he said.

Chronic plantar fasciitis is the most common debilitating foot complaint, affecting approximately 10 percent of the population and accounting for more than 1 million office visits annually, said Razdan.

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Abstract 78, "Percutaneous ultrasonic fasciotomy: A novel approach to treat chronic plantar fasciitis," R. Razdan, E. Vander Woude, Radiology, Advanced Medical Imaging, Lincoln, Neb. This abstract can be found at http://www.sirmeeting.org.

About the Society of Interventional Radiology

The Society of Interventional Radiology is a nonprofit, professional medical society representing more than 5,600 practicing interventional radiology physicians, scientists and clinical associates, dedicated to improving patient care through the limitless potential of image-guided therapies. SIR's members work in a variety of settings and at different professional levels--from medical students and residents to university faculty and private practice physicians. Visit sirweb.org. Follow SIR on Twitter at @SIRspecialists.

About SIR's Annual Scientific Meeting

The Society of Interventional Radiology is holding its 40th Annual Scientific Meeting Feb. 28-March 5 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. SIR 2015--the world's largest and most comprehensive interventional radiology educational experience--spotlights breakthrough treatments that harness the power of image-guided therapies. Follow SIR on Facebook and Twitter and use #SIR15ATL to keep up with news from the meeting.

About Interventional radiology

Clinicians in the field of interventional radiology pioneered minimally invasive, image-guided treatment, which reaches the source of a medical problem through blood vessels or directly through a tiny incision in the skin to deliver a precise, targeted treatment. Interventional radiology treatments performed by board-certified experts can deliver solutions with less risk, less pain and shorter recovery time than traditional surgery. These treatments are delivered in collaboration with the patient's care team. The specialty was founded in the early 1960s. Today interventional radiology has become synonymous with modern medicine.

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