What is the role of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) in the treatment of plantar heel pain?

Updated: Feb 10, 2020
  • Author: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD  more...
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Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) [4, 40, 41, 39, 42] was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005; it had been used in Europe for more than a decade previously. Animal study data suggest that this modality creates microdisruption and stimulates new bone and tissue formation. Shockwaves may be delivered in three ways: (1) electrohydraulically (high power), (2) electromagnetically, or (3) piezoelectrically. The FDA approved electrohydraulic and electromagnetic devices for the treatment of chronic plantar heel pain that has persisted for longer than 6 months despite other treatment.

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