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Percutaneous Radiofrequency Microfasciotomy for the Treatment of Plantar Fasciosis

Weil, Lowell Scott Jr DPM; Weil, Lowell DPM, MBA; Benton-Weil, Wendy DPM; Fridman, Robert DPM; Cain, Jarrett DPM

Techniques in Foot & Ankle Surgery: June 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 2 - p 65–70
doi: 10.1097/BTF.0b013e31821fe17e
Special Focus: Current Techniques for Treating Chronic Heel Pain

Chronic plantar fasciosis is a very common condition affecting both active and sedentary adults. Nonoperative treatment is successful in most cases of chronic plantar fasciosis and surgical intervention is used as a last resort. The use of plasma ablation (coblation) with microtenotomy is becoming well established for treating chronic tendinopathies in the extremities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of plasma radiofrequency microfasciotomy (RFMF) for relieving pain associated with chronic plantar fasciosis. Our observations showed that RFMF seems to provide equally successful clinical results as plantar fasciotomy while sparing the severing of the plantar fascia. On the basis of our comparative results of percutaneous plantar fasciotomy (W.B.W.), our results seem to suggest that patients undergoing RFMF returned to activities of daily living more quickly than those patients undergoing open plantar fasciotomy and had fewer long-term complications after the procedure. At 6 months, postoperative RFMF was equivalent to open plantar fasciotomy in reducing the chronic pain of plantar fasciosis in more than 80% of the patients treated. Furthermore, there were reduced and short-term incidences of postoperative complications and a faster return to activities of daily living compared with conventional surgery using open plantar fasciotomy.

Weil Foot and Ankle Institute, Des Plaines, IL

Support for this project and study was supplied by Arthrocare Sports Medicine.

Address correspondence and reprint request to Lowell Scott Weil, Sr, DPM, Weil Foot and Ankle Institute, 1455 Golf Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016. e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.