Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Feb 12;18(4):1777. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18041777.
Plantar heel pain is a common cause of foot pain that affects patients’ quality of life and represents a significant cost for the healthcare system. Dry needling and percutaneous needle electrolysis are two minimally invasive treatments that were shown to be effective for the management of plantar heel pain. The aim of our study was to compare these two treatments in terms of health and economic consequences based on the results of a published randomized controlled trial. For this, we evaluated the costs from the point of view of the hospital and we carried out a cost-effectiveness study using quality of life as the main variable according to the Eq-5D-5L questionnaire. The cost of the complete treatment with dry needling (DN) was €178.86, while the percutaneous needle electrolysis (PNE) was €200.90. The quality of life of patients improved and was translated into +0.615 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) for DN and +0.669 for PNE. PNE presented an average incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of €411.34/QALY against DN. These results indicate that PNE had a better cost-effectiveness ratio for the treatment of plantar heel pain than DN.