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thinking about OssaTron

Posted by Charles P on 12/24/00 at 15:22 (035358)

After having PF for almost seven months, my orthopedic surgeon recommended OssaTron. I have been to two Orthopedic Surgeons, a podiatrist, and a Physical Therapist. I have tried everything, including: shoe inserts, ultrasound, heat, ice, NSAIDS, cortisone injections, and a night splint (which might I say was one of the most hellish experiences!!) I am waiting to hear back from my insurance company as to whether they will cover the treatment, this will ultimately be my deciding factor, seeing that the treatment was quoted at $6000. I am desperate to return to such luxuries as getting out of bed in the morning and not feeling as if I am 90 years old, I am extremely anxiuos to be able to run again. I am a bit leary about the OssaTron. I am wondering if anyone will be able to tell me exactly how much pain is associated with the procedure and if you could please compare the pain to something. I will be having it done in Atlanta if I decide to go through with this. I have been so grateful to this site because it is so nice to see that there are so many others out there that suffer from this. I do not think that any of my friends or family seem to understand what the pain is really like, my doctor seems to be the most sympathethic. If someone could just tell me what the pain is truly like it would be greatly appreciated.

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Julie on 12/24/00 at 15:35 (035359)

Hi Charles

I think almost everyone has now gone off for Christmas, so it might be a little while till you get a reply from the doctors or from posters who have had the treatment. I haven't had ESWT, but judging by what other people have said, the procedure need not be significantly painful as long as it is carried out properly, by a doctor who has a lot of experience in doing it.

May I suggest that you wait for Dr Zuckerman to reply to you (after he has had his Christmas dinner) before you make any decisions. 6,000 sounds awfully expensive! I think you will be able to do better. Several people have travelled long distances to have their treatment done by Dr Z - from Texas, Chicago and Arkansas to name just three. He has a lot of experience in doing ESWT, and good results, and he includes subsequent treatments if they are needed in his price. (I've more or less made up my mind that if I need it in the future I will travel from England to New Jersey so that I can have Dr Z do it.)

Meanwhile I suggest you look back through the posts on this board and on the Treatments board - there have been a lot in recent weeks from people who have had ESWT. Kay has just reported on her experience a week ago, and she sounds totally positive.

I hope this keeps you going for a couple of days - though you may hear sooner from someone who has actually been through it, and from the Dr himself.

All the best, and Merry Christmas

Julie

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Kay S on 12/24/00 at 16:14 (035360)

Charles---I agree with Julie. Dr. Z uses the Orbasone machine, which is a 'smaller' version of the Ossatron. It doesn't have as much power, but you only need a certain amount to treat pf and the Orby does what it needs to do. I decided against staying close to home because even with the expense of the traveling, it is still less than it would be if I had it done here and once you pay, that's it, no matter how many treatments you get. I had both feet done for 3000 dollars, and includes everything. I am going to go back in a month or so for another treatment, and I won't have to pay any more at that time. I had the procedure done without using any local anesthetic and thought it was just a minor annoyance. However, if you are worried about the pain, Dr. Z will give you locals to your feet and you won't feel a thing. I walked out of there and went to lunch and went back to work as soon as we returned home, so there really aren't any big restrictions afterwards. Of course, you must be faithful in your exercises, not walk barefoot, and use common sense, but it is certainly not at all like having surgery. (I should know because I have had three surgeries in the past four years to my feet, among other things!)
Atlanta is a hub for ATA, which flies to Philadelphia, so why don't you do some checking on that and see what the cost would be. So far only one insurance has paid, so your chances of your insurance picking up the tab are pretty slim.
If you need anymore information from me, or any of us who have had the ESWT, ask away!
Kay S.

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/24/00 at 17:35 (035363)

Hi,

I would be glad to answer any questions that you may have. There are alot of people on this board that have had ESWT for pf and or heel pain. ESWT is a very effective treatment for heel pain. I have done about 150 patients . My patient safisfaction rate is over 80%. World literature will tell you that the sucess rate is between 60-80 % . The advantage of ESWT over foot surgery is that there are no major complication with ESWT. There is no cutting of the fascia which can lead to problem in the arch and other areas of the foot. We do this procedure just like they do in Europe a combination of low energy to numb the foot and high energy to heal the foot.

If you would like to speak with Katie my ESWT coordinator you can either can call her at 1-856-848-3338. She has had the procedure done and in addition to her medical background has personal experience with the treatment. You will find her a very caring person.,

Re: thinking about OssaTron

trouble on 12/25/00 at 12:18 (035382)


Hello Charles (and all the others out there)--
I just had to come out of the woodwork and reply to you! I just had an OssaTron treatment to both feet on Dec. 20--my Christmas present to me after 3 years of pain. I, too, have done it all as far as conventional treatments is concerned. I recieved treatment in a clinic that had , literally, just taken shipment of the OT from Healthtronics. I was patient #3 for my Pod. He, in turn, was Pod #3 for me.

I was not enthusiastic about taking treatment from a Pod who had only recently been trained and certified. However, our OT here is intended to become a mobile unit that will service a large area, and will be administered by a technician who travels with the machine. Since we did not have a tech yet, Healthtronics flew down one of their (well-seasoned) techs to help our Pods with a shake-down run. That made me feel better!

About $$--I understand that $6K per treatment is what Healthtronics suggests to the Pods as an accurate charge. Mine would have cost $7600 to have both feet done, but my POS insurance *does* cover this treatment! I still do not have the final total, but my portion is estimated at: my deductible + $3-400 in co-pays. Healthtronics is filing all the treatment charges associated with the OT themselves, and is going to accept whatever my insurance will pay, write off the rest. The Pods office said that HT is quite anxious to work out how each major insurer out there is going to handle how this treatment is accepted and paid for. That just leaves the anesthesia and Pod charges for me to negotiate.

About pain during the treatment--my Pod gave me an IV called 'MDA', containing a light sedative and pain medication and basic fluids. He said that he liked using this better than a nerve-block local for some of the same reasons Dr. Z has stated here in the past. I was put 'out' for the actual procedure. I am very happy with how this worked for me. Read further to see why I now believe that pain medication is necessary for OT treatment.

Pain after the treatment--the pain meds in the IV wore off about 2 hours after the treatment. That was a bad night--both feet throbbed non-stop! But, I did not take any NSAIDs then, and have not had to take *any* since! Before treatment, I had required 25mg Vioxx daily to just get through my (abbreviated) day's work. I did not want to interfere with the inflammation/healing response that is brought on by the treatmen, so have just lived with what has come since. And, it has not been bad: when I woke the morning after treatment, I had minimal morning pain and was able to be moving on my feet much as I had been able before treatment, with Vioxx. Now, on the fifth day, I do not have *any* morning pain, and have even managed a trip to the mall to finish last-minute Christmas shopping! I do still have pain, but is no worse than it had been berore, and I seem to bounce after brief rest better than before. I have not needed to ice at all.

I'll stop this long post now--hope this helps. Do respond if you have more questions, by my email or here in this thread.

PS. BarbSCO and AnnabelM, and any other Colorado lurkers out there--this machine is located in Fort Collins.

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Martha B. on 12/25/00 at 12:36 (035383)

I had ossatron at the Sports Medicine Clinic in Toronto(Texan here) Sept of 99 and I am doing extremely well. I took a week off after treatment and thats all. I paid $1500 for the one foot and at 1 time the second foot would have been $750. They absolutely refused to do both feet at the same time. Odd as it sounds my other foot improved when I quit all the limping on the treated foot. I just got a block and then injections in the heel and arch. The last 3 minutes were pretty painful for me but I have had others say it hardly hurt them at all. Please look at all avenues and good luck. Look up http://www.orthotripsy.com

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/25/00 at 13:18 (035387)

The use of IV is an option. The use of IV anesthesia does have complicatons of it own. You will be signing a consent form including death if you use an IV sedation. This is standard in any ASC center. I believe in one foot at time unless the patient has a very difficult time for return treatments. The safest method is no anesthesia which can be used if you apply the principles of low energy ESWT. Local posterior tibial nerve is an excellant block for this procedure. The use of IV sedation is just adding more problems to a procedure that is non-invasive. Another method that could be used is oral sedation such as nitrous ( laughting gas.). The Europe's look at our use of IV sedation use as just lack of experience. I guess it will just take time before the ESWT doc's in the USA learn to follow the experience and advice of our much more experienced European colleagues.

It took DR. Z time to appreciate the analgesic use of low energy which is standard in Europe.
.

Re: thinking about OssaTron

john h on 12/26/00 at 15:08 (035406)

i had both feet done at the same time twice. no iv, in office, local block. i walked out of the office drove 120 miles to the airport, walked through 3 airports before arriving home. no problems. my final treatment i think i will try it without the block. i do not know that the energy from the orbasone is that much less than the ossatron. i think dr zuckerman used around 18kv on my feet. i do know from talking to 3 different doctors who use the ossatron that the expense is several times greater than with the orbasone. you can fly to baltimore/washington airport and be at dr zuckermans office in 2hr and 20 min. your charge will include up to 3 treatments if needed (it was that way although i do not know now). expect to wait at least 12 weeks for maximum effect after treatment.

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/26/00 at 22:27 (035434)

We now charge on flat fee $2500 for as many treatments as necessary until either you are cured or the treatments have no effect. This could be five treatment. We are using high energy at 0.6 joules/mm2 . This amount at the focal point is higher then the ossatron but the depth is 50mm vs 78 mm. 50 mm is plenty to reach the insertion of the plantar fascia.

I have been told that the cost of the ossatron is $6000 per foot, I have no idea if this includes the addtional treatment that you may need.

So the orbasone is equal to if not greater then the ossatron for the treatmnt of pf. The cost is about 1/3 compared to the ossatron.

Re: Ossatron-$1500

Martha B. on 12/27/00 at 18:56 (035459)

The $1500 I paid for 1 treatment in Toronto was no where near the $6000 some have mentioned. Take a nice vaacation to Toronto to the Sports Medicine Clinic and you still wont spend $6000.check out http://www.orthotripsy.com

Re: Ossatron-$1500

JohnW on 12/27/00 at 20:13 (035470)

remember me? been out of touch recently. Glad your feeling better. Merry Christmas.

Re: Ossatron-$1500

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/27/00 at 23:54 (035488)

Well,

This is a voice that is always nice to hear from. What are you doing with yourself.? Have a happy and healthy new year.

Dr. Zuckerman

Re: Ossatron-$1500

Scott R on 12/28/00 at 07:15 (035492)

I have an email in to the FDA about one of those posts to the yahoo message board (which is the same as a 'rumor' I heard in Toronto - possibly originating from the same source). The FDA is always good about answering my email questions. They seem to be a little delayed this time about why OssaTron patients were placed in the 'fail' category if they took an anti-inflammatory.

Re: Ossatron-$1500

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/29/00 at 17:26 (035584)

I believe that there is a theory that anti-inflammatory reduce the healing rocess by reducing the initial phase of the healing process. You need inflamation to be healing but you don't want excessive inflamation.

I don't remember reading any thing about this is the transcipt from the FDA meetings.

I don't rememeber any specific mention in the exclusion section concerning the use of NSAID and ESWT or even if it were mentioned.

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Julie on 12/24/00 at 15:35 (035359)

Hi Charles

I think almost everyone has now gone off for Christmas, so it might be a little while till you get a reply from the doctors or from posters who have had the treatment. I haven't had ESWT, but judging by what other people have said, the procedure need not be significantly painful as long as it is carried out properly, by a doctor who has a lot of experience in doing it.

May I suggest that you wait for Dr Zuckerman to reply to you (after he has had his Christmas dinner) before you make any decisions. 6,000 sounds awfully expensive! I think you will be able to do better. Several people have travelled long distances to have their treatment done by Dr Z - from Texas, Chicago and Arkansas to name just three. He has a lot of experience in doing ESWT, and good results, and he includes subsequent treatments if they are needed in his price. (I've more or less made up my mind that if I need it in the future I will travel from England to New Jersey so that I can have Dr Z do it.)

Meanwhile I suggest you look back through the posts on this board and on the Treatments board - there have been a lot in recent weeks from people who have had ESWT. Kay has just reported on her experience a week ago, and she sounds totally positive.

I hope this keeps you going for a couple of days - though you may hear sooner from someone who has actually been through it, and from the Dr himself.

All the best, and Merry Christmas

Julie

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Kay S on 12/24/00 at 16:14 (035360)

Charles---I agree with Julie. Dr. Z uses the Orbasone machine, which is a 'smaller' version of the Ossatron. It doesn't have as much power, but you only need a certain amount to treat pf and the Orby does what it needs to do. I decided against staying close to home because even with the expense of the traveling, it is still less than it would be if I had it done here and once you pay, that's it, no matter how many treatments you get. I had both feet done for 3000 dollars, and includes everything. I am going to go back in a month or so for another treatment, and I won't have to pay any more at that time. I had the procedure done without using any local anesthetic and thought it was just a minor annoyance. However, if you are worried about the pain, Dr. Z will give you locals to your feet and you won't feel a thing. I walked out of there and went to lunch and went back to work as soon as we returned home, so there really aren't any big restrictions afterwards. Of course, you must be faithful in your exercises, not walk barefoot, and use common sense, but it is certainly not at all like having surgery. (I should know because I have had three surgeries in the past four years to my feet, among other things!)
Atlanta is a hub for ATA, which flies to Philadelphia, so why don't you do some checking on that and see what the cost would be. So far only one insurance has paid, so your chances of your insurance picking up the tab are pretty slim.
If you need anymore information from me, or any of us who have had the ESWT, ask away!
Kay S.

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/24/00 at 17:35 (035363)

Hi,

I would be glad to answer any questions that you may have. There are alot of people on this board that have had ESWT for pf and or heel pain. ESWT is a very effective treatment for heel pain. I have done about 150 patients . My patient safisfaction rate is over 80%. World literature will tell you that the sucess rate is between 60-80 % . The advantage of ESWT over foot surgery is that there are no major complication with ESWT. There is no cutting of the fascia which can lead to problem in the arch and other areas of the foot. We do this procedure just like they do in Europe a combination of low energy to numb the foot and high energy to heal the foot.

If you would like to speak with Katie my ESWT coordinator you can either can call her at 1-856-848-3338. She has had the procedure done and in addition to her medical background has personal experience with the treatment. You will find her a very caring person.,

Re: thinking about OssaTron

trouble on 12/25/00 at 12:18 (035382)


Hello Charles (and all the others out there)--
I just had to come out of the woodwork and reply to you! I just had an OssaTron treatment to both feet on Dec. 20--my Christmas present to me after 3 years of pain. I, too, have done it all as far as conventional treatments is concerned. I recieved treatment in a clinic that had , literally, just taken shipment of the OT from Healthtronics. I was patient #3 for my Pod. He, in turn, was Pod #3 for me.

I was not enthusiastic about taking treatment from a Pod who had only recently been trained and certified. However, our OT here is intended to become a mobile unit that will service a large area, and will be administered by a technician who travels with the machine. Since we did not have a tech yet, Healthtronics flew down one of their (well-seasoned) techs to help our Pods with a shake-down run. That made me feel better!

About $$--I understand that $6K per treatment is what Healthtronics suggests to the Pods as an accurate charge. Mine would have cost $7600 to have both feet done, but my POS insurance *does* cover this treatment! I still do not have the final total, but my portion is estimated at: my deductible + $3-400 in co-pays. Healthtronics is filing all the treatment charges associated with the OT themselves, and is going to accept whatever my insurance will pay, write off the rest. The Pods office said that HT is quite anxious to work out how each major insurer out there is going to handle how this treatment is accepted and paid for. That just leaves the anesthesia and Pod charges for me to negotiate.

About pain during the treatment--my Pod gave me an IV called 'MDA', containing a light sedative and pain medication and basic fluids. He said that he liked using this better than a nerve-block local for some of the same reasons Dr. Z has stated here in the past. I was put 'out' for the actual procedure. I am very happy with how this worked for me. Read further to see why I now believe that pain medication is necessary for OT treatment.

Pain after the treatment--the pain meds in the IV wore off about 2 hours after the treatment. That was a bad night--both feet throbbed non-stop! But, I did not take any NSAIDs then, and have not had to take *any* since! Before treatment, I had required 25mg Vioxx daily to just get through my (abbreviated) day's work. I did not want to interfere with the inflammation/healing response that is brought on by the treatmen, so have just lived with what has come since. And, it has not been bad: when I woke the morning after treatment, I had minimal morning pain and was able to be moving on my feet much as I had been able before treatment, with Vioxx. Now, on the fifth day, I do not have *any* morning pain, and have even managed a trip to the mall to finish last-minute Christmas shopping! I do still have pain, but is no worse than it had been berore, and I seem to bounce after brief rest better than before. I have not needed to ice at all.

I'll stop this long post now--hope this helps. Do respond if you have more questions, by my email or here in this thread.

PS. BarbSCO and AnnabelM, and any other Colorado lurkers out there--this machine is located in Fort Collins.

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Martha B. on 12/25/00 at 12:36 (035383)

I had ossatron at the Sports Medicine Clinic in Toronto(Texan here) Sept of 99 and I am doing extremely well. I took a week off after treatment and thats all. I paid $1500 for the one foot and at 1 time the second foot would have been $750. They absolutely refused to do both feet at the same time. Odd as it sounds my other foot improved when I quit all the limping on the treated foot. I just got a block and then injections in the heel and arch. The last 3 minutes were pretty painful for me but I have had others say it hardly hurt them at all. Please look at all avenues and good luck. Look up http://www.orthotripsy.com

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/25/00 at 13:18 (035387)

The use of IV is an option. The use of IV anesthesia does have complicatons of it own. You will be signing a consent form including death if you use an IV sedation. This is standard in any ASC center. I believe in one foot at time unless the patient has a very difficult time for return treatments. The safest method is no anesthesia which can be used if you apply the principles of low energy ESWT. Local posterior tibial nerve is an excellant block for this procedure. The use of IV sedation is just adding more problems to a procedure that is non-invasive. Another method that could be used is oral sedation such as nitrous ( laughting gas.). The Europe's look at our use of IV sedation use as just lack of experience. I guess it will just take time before the ESWT doc's in the USA learn to follow the experience and advice of our much more experienced European colleagues.

It took DR. Z time to appreciate the analgesic use of low energy which is standard in Europe.
.

Re: thinking about OssaTron

john h on 12/26/00 at 15:08 (035406)

i had both feet done at the same time twice. no iv, in office, local block. i walked out of the office drove 120 miles to the airport, walked through 3 airports before arriving home. no problems. my final treatment i think i will try it without the block. i do not know that the energy from the orbasone is that much less than the ossatron. i think dr zuckerman used around 18kv on my feet. i do know from talking to 3 different doctors who use the ossatron that the expense is several times greater than with the orbasone. you can fly to baltimore/washington airport and be at dr zuckermans office in 2hr and 20 min. your charge will include up to 3 treatments if needed (it was that way although i do not know now). expect to wait at least 12 weeks for maximum effect after treatment.

Re: thinking about OssaTron

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/26/00 at 22:27 (035434)

We now charge on flat fee $2500 for as many treatments as necessary until either you are cured or the treatments have no effect. This could be five treatment. We are using high energy at 0.6 joules/mm2 . This amount at the focal point is higher then the ossatron but the depth is 50mm vs 78 mm. 50 mm is plenty to reach the insertion of the plantar fascia.

I have been told that the cost of the ossatron is $6000 per foot, I have no idea if this includes the addtional treatment that you may need.

So the orbasone is equal to if not greater then the ossatron for the treatmnt of pf. The cost is about 1/3 compared to the ossatron.

Re: Ossatron-$1500

Martha B. on 12/27/00 at 18:56 (035459)

The $1500 I paid for 1 treatment in Toronto was no where near the $6000 some have mentioned. Take a nice vaacation to Toronto to the Sports Medicine Clinic and you still wont spend $6000.check out http://www.orthotripsy.com

Re: Ossatron-$1500

JohnW on 12/27/00 at 20:13 (035470)

remember me? been out of touch recently. Glad your feeling better. Merry Christmas.

Re: Ossatron-$1500

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/27/00 at 23:54 (035488)

Well,

This is a voice that is always nice to hear from. What are you doing with yourself.? Have a happy and healthy new year.

Dr. Zuckerman

Re: Ossatron-$1500

Scott R on 12/28/00 at 07:15 (035492)

I have an email in to the FDA about one of those posts to the yahoo message board (which is the same as a 'rumor' I heard in Toronto - possibly originating from the same source). The FDA is always good about answering my email questions. They seem to be a little delayed this time about why OssaTron patients were placed in the 'fail' category if they took an anti-inflammatory.

Re: Ossatron-$1500

Dr. Zuckerman on 12/29/00 at 17:26 (035584)

I believe that there is a theory that anti-inflammatory reduce the healing rocess by reducing the initial phase of the healing process. You need inflamation to be healing but you don't want excessive inflamation.

I don't remember reading any thing about this is the transcipt from the FDA meetings.

I don't rememeber any specific mention in the exclusion section concerning the use of NSAID and ESWT or even if it were mentioned.