Evaluation of ultrasound-guided extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis

Christopher F Hyer, Robert Vancourt, Alan Block
Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery: Official Publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons 2005, 44 (2): 137-43
Thirty patients (39 heels) were evaluated to determine the success of ultrasound-guided ESWT for treatment of recalcitrant plantar fasciitis. All patients had been diagnosed and treated for plantar fasciitis for greater than 6 months and had failed at least 3 conservative treatment modalities. Each patient received 3800 shockwaves into the treated heel using the Dornier Epos Ultra ESWT machine. The average postoperative follow-up was 124 days (range, 33 to 255). Written subjective surveys evaluated pre- and posttreatment pain levels using a visual analog scoring system. The mean pretreatment score was 8.51 (range, 5 to 10), which improved to a mean follow-up score of 3.75 (range, 0 to 10). This represents an improvement in the mean VAS of 4.76, which is statistically significant ( P = .0002). Twenty-five of 30 patients reported some degree of improvement, with 5 experiencing no change. These early results indicate ultrasound-guided ESWT may be a useful tool in the treatment armamentarium for chronic plantar fasciitis.

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