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Heel pain or achillodynia is one of the most common manifestations in patients with rheumatic inflammatory diseases (RID) and particularly spondyloarthritis (SpA). It can be associated with inflammation at the bone insertion of tendon, ligament, bursa or fascia. However, treatment is still a challenge for rheumatologists. Several findings highlighted the proven benefit of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and recently, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α inhibitors. However, only limited data about the efficacy of local therapy such as glucocorticoid and anti-TNF injections are available. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the efficacy and safety of local therapies in heel pain and to make recommendations for further studies. Five studies discussing the effectiveness of local treatments of heel pain in RID were included. All studies recognized that the ultrasonography (US)-guided local corticosteroid or etanercept injections were effective and safe modalities for the treatment of inflammatory heel enthesitis, tendinitis, and retrocalcaneal bursitis (RCB) in patients with RID. Pain relief at the local site was associated with a reversion of the acute inflammatory changes in the heel. Furthermore, US-guided injection in RCB with a lateral approach was beneficial in terms of preventing side effects.


K B Abdelghani, L Rouached, A Fazaa, S Miladi, K Ouenniche, L Souabni, S Kassab, S Chekili, A Laatar. Efficacy of local injection therapy for heel pain in rheumatic inflammatory diseases: A systematic review. Zeitschrift fur Rheumatologie. 2020 Dec;79(10):1033-1039

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PMID: 32975621

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