Surgical or non-surgical treatment of plantar fasciopathy (SOFT): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Stefan Møller*, Henrik Riel, Jens Wester, Ane Simony, Bjarke Viberg, Carsten Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background: Plantar fasciopathy is the most common reason for complaints of plantar heel pain and one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal conditions with a reported lifetime incidence of 10%. The condition is normally considered self-limiting with persistent symptoms that often last for several months or years. Multiple treatments are available, but no single treatment appears superior to the others. Heavy-slow resistance training and radiofrequency microtenotomy for the treatment of plantar fasciopathy have shown potentially positive effects on short- and long-term outcomes (> 3 months). However, the effect of heavy-slow resistance training compared with a radiofrequency microtenotomy treatment is currently unknown. This trial compares the efficacy of heavy-slow resistance training and radiofrequency microtenotomy treatment with supplemental standardized patient education and heel inserts in improving the Foot Health Status Questionnaire pain score after 6 months in patients with plantar fasciopathy. Methods: In this randomized superiority trial, we will recruit 70 patients with ultrasound-confirmed plantar fasciopathy and randomly allocate them to one of two groups: (1) heavy-slow resistance training, patient education and a heel insert (n = 35), and (2) radiofrequency microtenotomy treatment, patient education and a heel insert (n = 35). All participants will be followed for 1 year, with the 6-month follow-up considered the primary endpoint. The primary outcome is the Foot Health Status Questionnaire pain domain score. Secondary outcomes include the remaining three domains of the Foot Health Status Questionnaire, a Global Perceived Effect scale, the physical activity level, and Patient Acceptable Symptom State, which is the point at which participants feel no further need for treatment. Discussion: By comparing the two treatment options, we should be able to answer if radiofrequency microtenotomy compared with heavy-slow resistance training is superior in patients with plantar fasciopathy. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03854682. Prospectively registered on February 26, 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Article number845
JournalTrials
Volume23
Number of pages10
ISSN1745-6215
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Foot Health Status Questionnaire
  • Heavy-slow resistance training
  • Plantar fasciopathy
  • Radiofrequency microtenotomy
  • Resistance Training
  • Pain
  • Humans
  • Fasciitis, Plantar/diagnosis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Pain Measurement/methods
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

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