SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first month

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Health Fusion: Fat injections for foot pain

An injection of your own fat into the sole of your foot may help plantar fasciitis pain. In this episode of NewsMD's Health Fusion, Viv Williams checks out the details of a new study.

gusenoff-foot-hr.jpg
University of Pittsburgh researchers have developed a new method for treating a painful foot condition called plantar fasciitis. A patient’s own fat is injected into the foot via dozens of small injections in a grid pattern.
Contribution / Gusenoff et al.
We are part of The Trust Project.

ROCHESTER — Plantar fasciitis is a common foot problem that can cause searing, stabbing pain when you step out of bed or off of the couch.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh are trying out a new way to treat it. They're injecting fat into the souls of the feet. A proof-of-concept study is complete and the research team is gearing up for clinical trials.

"We developed this procedure to harness the regenerative properties of fat," says Dr. Jeffrey Gusenoff, a professor of plastic surgery. "We showed that fat injections into the foot reduced heel pain, helped patients get back to doing sports and activities and boosted quality of life.”

The procedure involves poking a tiny hole in the patient's fascia in their foot and then injecting fat from a patient's belly or other body part into it. Once there, stem cells in the fat stimulate healing and growth, reducing symptoms in the process.

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, affecting about 2 million people in the United States. It’s caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, connective tissue that runs from the heel to the toes and supports the foot arch.

ADVERTISEMENT

Traditional treatment includes stretching, shoe orthotics or cortisone injections. But about 10% of patients progress to the chronic form. Surgery may help, but the researchers say it is not risk-free.

They hope to validate their findings in the upcoming clinical trial.

The study is published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Follow the  Health Fusion podcast on  Apple Spotify and  Google podcasts. For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at  vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

MORE HEALTH FUSION:
Research about the health benefits of nature and greenery keeps coming. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams checks out a new study that shows increasing the amount of urban greenspace could have prevented thousands of deaths.

What to read next
A small county in Tennessee for much of the past year has reported the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate in Tennessee and one of the highest in the South. If only it were true. The rate in Meigs County was artificially inflated by a data error that distorted most of Tennessee’s county-level vaccination rates by attributing tens of thousands of doses to the wrong counties, according to a KHN review of Tennessee’s vaccination data. When the Tennessee Department of Health quietly corrected the error last month, county rates shifted overnight, and Meigs County’s rate of fully vaccinated people dropped from 65% to 43%, which is below the state average and middling in the rural South.
The key is to continually remind children and teens that they are cared for, and to help them get back into the structure and familiar activities that give them a feeling of accomplishment. That's the advice of two experts from Mayo Clinic.
"Minding Our Elders" columnist Carol Bradley Bursack says there are times when a decision has to be made on behalf of a family member.
COVID-19 cases have continued to increase across the state, and more people are hospitalized, though the number of deaths has not increased significantly, according to Minnesota Department of Health udpates. The numbers are likely higher than the state is reporting, as home tests are not reported to the state.