A cortisone shot has been one of the most common treatments for a variety of injuries we see in orthopedic surgery for years. Their use has been decreasing, but they are still common for many problems. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss the use of a cortisone shot for plantar fasciitis.

Anand asks:
I had two injections for plantar fasciitis. But I only got 20-30% relief. Can you explain why I didn’t got 100% relief?

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain in athletes and non-athletes alike. It often presents as pain at the base of the heel on the sole of the foot. A patient frequently complains of pain immediately in the morning when he or she first steps out of bed. The patient might also complain of pain when taking the first steps after sitting or lying down for an extended period of time.

Treatment is typically nonsurgical, including wearing a night splint while sleeping, stretching exercises and physical therapy. In the vast majority of cases, these non-surgical treatments relieve the pain for several weeks.

Is a cortisone shot for plantar fasciitis a good idea?

While a cortisone shot for plantar fasciitis is an option, many orthopedic surgeons worry that it could increase the risk of a rupture of the plantar fascia. Also, as I discuss in this video, the underlying problem with plantar fasciitis is not really inflammation. A cortisone shot, which aims to decrease inflammation, might not help that much.

Also read:
Cortisone shots: Use, risks and benefits for bone and joint injuries
Plantar fasciitis: Signs, symptoms and treatment options

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, on my website, on my podcast, or in social media. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

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