Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Information and Resources

Font Size
A
A
A

Corticosteroid Injections for Plantar Fasciitis

Examples

Generic Name Brand Name
betamethasone Celestone
methylprednisolone Depo-Medrol
triamcinolone Kenalog

How It Works

Corticosteroid injections can provide short-term relief from heel pain due to plantar fasciitis.

The site where the doctor injects the steroid may vary. Some inject directly into the plantar fascia on the underside of the heel. Others inject on the big-toe side of the heel or arch.

Injections are advised to be given with an anesthetic mixed with the corticosteroid, but the injections may still be painful. Your doctor may spray a topical anesthetic on your skin before giving you the injection.

Why It Is Used

Your doctor may consider corticosteroid injections if several weeks of nonsurgical treatment have not relieved your heel pain.1

How Well It Works

Corticosteroid injection may give short-term relief from symptoms of plantar fasciitis.2

Side Effects

All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Usually the benefits of the medicine are more important than any minor side effects.
  • Side effects may go away after you take the medicine for a while.
  • If side effects still bother you and you wonder if you should keep taking the medicine, call your doctor. He or she may be able to lower your dose or change your medicine. Do not suddenly quit taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.

Call911or other emergency services right away if you have:

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Hives.
  • Pain and swelling around the injection site that lasts more than 2 days.

Common side effects of this medicine include:

  • Pain and swelling the first day or two after the injection. It may help to apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes to the injection site.

See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)

What To Think About

Doctors are cautious about using corticosteroid injections for plantar fasciitis. One concern is the risk that repeated injections may damage the heel pad or the plantar fascia. Experts say it's best to use injections sparingly, only when other treatment has failed. They also say that limiting injections may help avoid complications—such as plantar fascia rupture—that could be harder to treat than the original plantar fasciitis.

Taking medicine

Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.

There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.

Advice for women

If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.

Checkups

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.

Citations

  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Academy of Pediatrics (2010). Plantar fasciitis chapter of Foot and ankle section. In JF Sarwark, ed., Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, 4th ed., pp. 839–844. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

  2. Wapner KL, Parekh SG (2010). Heel pain. In JC DeLee et al., eds., DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, 3rd ed., vol. 2, pp. 2030–2056. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Barry L. Scurran, DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
Last Revised May 14, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 14, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Hot Topics

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

tea
What you should eat.
Woman sitting in front of UV lights
Is yours working?
woman using breath spray
What's causing yours?
colon xray
Get the facts.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
bowl of yogurt with heart shape
Eat for a healthy heart.
woman doing pushups
To help you get fit.
Colored x-ray of tooth decay
Know what to look for.
Woman sitting with child
Do you know the symptoms?
fruit drinks
Foods that can help you focus.
Sad dog and guacamole
Don't feed this to your dog.
Thyroid exam
See how much you know.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.