Health Technology Brief

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Human Amniotic Membrane Injections for Treatment of Chronic Plantar Fasciitis

November 21, 2019

Health Problem: Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a progressive degenerative disorder of the plantar fascia, a fibrous band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to each of the toes.

Technology Description: Developments in how amniotic tissue is prepared and stored have now allowed for injectable treatments of human amniotic membrane (HAM) to be created from dehydrated, micronized amniotic tissue that has been retrieved from donated human placental tissue (i.e., amnion/chorion tissues). The solution containing the amniotic-derived allografts is injected into the soft tissue of the plantar fascia. The injection of amniotic tissue–derived allografts is thought to prompt tissue healing while limiting inflammation.

Controversy: Treatments for chronic PF are not always effective at reducing pain and surgical procedures can have serious risks. HAM injections are a minimally invasive treatment option with the potential to be equally or more effective than other PF treatment options.

Key Questions:

  • Are HAM injections an effective treatment for chronic PF?  
  • How do HAM injections compare with conservative treatments (ice, rest, and stretching), shoe/orthopedic inserts, placebo injection, active injection (platelet-rich plasma, corticosteroids, botulinum toxin), extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and surgery?
  • Are HAM injections safe?
  • Have definitive patient selection criteria been identified for HAM injections?