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Foot Ankle Spec. 2011 Aug;4(4):218-21. doi: 10.1177/1938640011407318.

Efficacy of EZStep in the management of plantar fasciitis: a prospective, randomized study.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Dammam and King Fahd University Hospital, AlKhobar, Saudi Arabia.


Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Despite extensive efforts foot surgeons continue to debate the best modality of treatment. Analgesics, shoe inserts, stretching exercises, steroid injection, night splints, and extracorporeal shock wave therapy have proved effective in one group but fail in others. This study evaluated the efficacy of EZStep, a new foot brace for the management of plantar fasciitis. A total of 198 patients were randomized in 2 groups; group 1 (study group) received nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; 4-6 weeks) and EZStep whereas group 2 (control group) received either NSAID and physiotherapy alone (2A) or NSAID, physiotherapy, and local steroid injection (2B). None of the patients received over-the-counter insoles or strapping of plantar arch to avoid any bias in randomization. Evaluations included measurement of weight and height, visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, and Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SFMPQ). After 8 weeks, patients were reevaluated, and assessment for the VAS and SFMPQ with treatment outcome was performed. Patients with VAS scores ≤3 were considered as excellent, ≥4 as good, and ≥7 as poor. The posttreatment evaluation showed that VAS scores were in the range from 2.97 ± 1.06 to 7.64 ± 2.9 (2A), P = .001, 95% confidence interval (CI) <-4.104; for 2B P = .001, CI <-2.44, and SFMPQ was 21.7 ± 4.5 and 69.2 ± 5.8 (group 2A; P = .001, 95% CI <-46.44). Compared with group 2B the SFMPQ was 66.5 ± 4.3 (P = .001, 95% CI <-30.720). In group 1 as per VAS, 86 (73.5%) were evaluated as excellent, 15 (12.8%) as good, and 16 (13.6%) as poor. Our study shows that the regular use of EZStep with short course of NSAIDs (4-6 weeks) was effective in ameliorating symptoms in more than 85% of patients suffering from plantar fasciitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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