Jumper's knee treatment with extracorporeal shock wave therapy: a long-term follow-up observational study

M C Vulpiani, M Vetrano, V Savoia, E Di Pangrazio, D Trischitta, A Ferretti
Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2007, 47 (3): 323-8

AIM: Jumper's knee affects more frequently athletes participating in jumping activities. This pathology is very difficult to treat: various therapeutic treatments are used, often based on the physician's personal experience rather than clinical evidence. The aim of this prospective study is to present our experience with the treatment of jumper's knee using extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in a group of patients followed up for 2 years after treatment.

METHODS: In this study, we included 73 sports patients (83 knees), 54 males and 19 females, aged between 15 and 69 years (mean age: 32 years). All patients underwent clinical and instrumental diagnosis (ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging and X-rays) in order to identify presence, location and seriousness of the specific tendinopathy. The symptomatology was classified using the visual analogical scale and according to a 6-stage clinical evaluation range. Shock wave treatment was applied with an electromagnetic shock wave generator. The protocol consisted in an average of 4 sessions (minimum 3, maximum 5), at a 2/7-day interval. In each sessions, 1,500-2,500 impulses were administered with an energy varying between 0.08 and 0.44 mJ/mm(2).

RESULTS: We obtained satisfactory results in 73.5% of cases (54.2% excellent results and 19.3 good results). In performing athletes (16 tendons), treatment was satisfactory in 87.5% of cases, with an average time of resuming sport of approximately 6 weeks.

CONCLUSION: The outcome of the described shock wave treatment appears to be satisfactory and confirms the role of this alternative treatment in the management of the tendon disorders.

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