[Shock wave therapy for recalcitrant plantar fasciitis with heel spur: a prospective randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study]

T Abt, W Hopfenmüller, H Mellerowicz
Zeitschrift Für Orthopädie und Ihre Grenzgebiete 2002, 140 (5): 548-54

AIM: Efficacy of low-energy shock wave therapy for recalcitrant plantar fasciitis.

METHOD: 32 patients were randomly assigned into real and placebo ESWT groups, treatment comprised 1000 impulses of 0,08 mJ/mm 2 at 14 kV (OssaTron OSA 120, HMT AG, Switzerland) in 12 cases repeated after six weeks or placebo (energy-absorbing foil). Follow-up evaluation (19, 32 and 48 wks.) included specific questionnaire, clinical-functional examination and measurement of plantar pressure while walking (Emed AT-4. pedograph, Novel GmbH, Munich). Examiner and patients were blinded.

RESULTS: 88 % of the treatment group were pain free or had good results. None of the placebo group were pain free, 33.3 % had good results (Roles and Maudsley Score). The treatment group showed significantly better outcome for morning and resting pain, pressure stamp-tolerance and walking ability. Pedography did not show a clear correlation between pain relief and load pattern.

CONCLUSION: The results of this study corroborate the value of ESWT for recalcitrant plantar fascitis. As a non invasive technique with low side effects, it can complement the row of conservative treatments.

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