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Schmitz, Christoph; Csaszar, Nikolaus B. M.; Rompe, Jan-Dirk; Chaves, Humberto und Furia, John P.: Treatment of chronic plantar fasciopathy with extracorporeal shock waves (review). In: Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2013, 8:31


There is an increasing interest by doctors and patients in extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) for chronic plantar fasciopathy (PF), particularly in second generation radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy (RSWT). The present review aims at serving this interest by providing a comprehensive overview on physical and medical definitions of shock waves and a detailed assessment of the quality and significance of the randomized clinical trials published on ESWT and RSWT as it is used to treat chronic PF. Both ESWT and RSWT are safe, effective, and technically easy treatments for chronic PF. The main advantages of RSWT over ESWT are the lack of need for any anesthesia during the treatment and the demonstrated long-term treatment success (demonstrated at both 6 and 12 months after the first treatment using RSWT, compared to follow-up intervals of no more than 12 weeks after the first treatment using ESWT). In recent years, a greater understanding of the clinical outcomes in ESWT and RSWT for chronic PF has arisen in relationship not only in the design of studies, but also in procedure, energy level, and shock wave propagation. Either procedure should be considered for patients 18 years of age or older with chronic PF prior to surgical intervention.