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:
When you have one of those mornings that starts in a frenzy and throws you off your game, you might feel a little off kilter the rest of the day. Those episodes can quickly derail a fitness and healthy eating plan. In this "Health Fusion" column, the Goal Getters Project shares a great tip that may help keep you on track in the morning so you can have a successful day.

What to read next
If signed into law by the governor, the legislation would prohibit life insurance, long-term care insurance or disability insurance carriers from declining or limiting coverage to living organ or marrow donors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends isolating COVID patients for at least five days, preferably in a separate room with access to their own bathroom, as well as diligent mask-wearing for both patient and caregiver. But for many families, those aren’t easy options. But take heart: Scientists say there is still a lot people can do to protect their families, chief among them improving ventilation and filtration of the air.
The free webinar is hosted in partnership with the American Heart Association.
It is unclear how much demand is there for the third dose in the 5-11 age group. Just 28.8% of children aged 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated, according to the latest CDC data.