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Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Posted by Julia S. on 3/10/04 at 11:30 (146606)

Dear Dr.:
Eighteen months ago, after 3 1/2 hours of neurological testing, it was determined that I have severe plantar fasciitis in both feet. I had 3 surgeries about 14 years ago for tarsel tunnel syndrome (both feet). I did have significant relief for about 3 years and then I resumed wearing orthotics, etc. I've avoided using pain meds but occasionally have taken an anti-inflammatory. The orthotics don't really help and the anti-inflammatory meds (Vioxx) don't either. My podiatrist has suggested the option of shock wave therapy. He and the two orthopaedists I've had over the years agree that it is unusual for someone to have this condition in both feet; however, I DO HAVE IT IN BOTH FEET AND IT HAS DRAMATICALLY ALTERED MY LIFE FOR 16 YEARS. Please give me your opinion about this type of treatment, i.e. efficacy, side effects/potential complications,etc. Also, if you feel it is an appropriate treatment, is it possible to have both feet treated at the same time? I'm told that I will have to be under anaesthetic at a hospital near my home. The podiatrist's fee is $2,000 for the 20 minute procedure and he says that each foot would be treated in a separate procedure. My concern is financial as there will be hospital and anaesthesiologist's fees, etc. I'm told that recovery time is 2-3 days. Why not have both feet treated in one procedure? I am a psychotherapist and can set my schedule as needed. I also sit most of my work day. My husband is disabled with kidney failure and we have a 17 year old son. I support the family and money is a serious consideration. Please provide me with any information you feel might be useful. I need help and you have been there for me in the past. Thank you. Sincerely, Julia

Re: Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

BrianJ on 3/10/04 at 12:24 (146608)

Julia --

I am not a doctor, but have had PF in both feet for 7 years, and have tried many treatments including two rounds of shockwave therapy. I can offer an objective viewpoint on what has and has not helped me. Please feel free to call me at work (972-701-9066) if you would like.

Brian Jobe

Re: Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Pauline on 3/10/04 at 16:42 (146630)

Other posters have had both feet treated at one time. If you decide to have this procedure ask your doctor the same question again. You need to know his thoughts on this matter.

I also think he is being short on the amount of recovery time as stated.
You might want to read some of the other posters experience who were treated with the Ossatron ESWT machine.

From your description about anesthesia and hospital being used, it sounds like he will be using this machine. It does pack a punch so do some reading here ahead of time to understand how others faired after their treatment with this machine. You can do a search under it's name Ossatron.

Scott the site owner was treated with the Ossatron. You might want to ask him about his experience too.

Re: Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/10/04 at 23:43 (146662)

There is an entire message board here dedicated to ESWT. Also ScottR, the site's owner has a lot of information in his Heel Pain Book on this site including references. There is a lot of information to be found on http://www.ismst.com which lists a lot of scientific papers on the subject. Dr. Z who posts on this site is, in my opinion a pioneer in this field. My professional experience has been overwhelmingly favorable since I started using this modality in 2002. My referrals to the Sonorex Treatment Center in Vancouver, BC, about 2 1/2 north of me, have been very gratifying prior to the availability of ESWT in the US.

Re: Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Ed Davis, DPM on 3/10/04 at 23:46 (146663)

I think that the 'one foot at a time' approach has some 'carry over' from the surgical practice of doing such. If both feet need treatment, there is little reason to do one at a time as it just delays relief and return to full function. It is also more expensive to the patient to do one foot at a time.

Re: Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Dr. Z on 3/11/04 at 03:10 (146667)

I agree with Ed. Treating both feet is the way to go. I have done them both ways and patients appreciate the one time approach to both feet.

Re: Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

john h on 3/11/04 at 10:04 (146689)

With my three treatments with Dr. Z all were doing both feet at the same time. My first trip we used ankle blocks. The next two trips we used no ankle blocks as my feet were very much dead to pain after the first ten shocks (orby). No reason to do one foot at a time unless it keeps you from driving, which might be necessary. I drove 100 miles to Washington after treatment on both feet. ESWT for most people is a very painless experience (except Judy S who was wimpy) so have no fear. I had rather have ESWT than have a tooth filled.

Re: Shock Wave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

john h on 3/11/04 at 10:14 (146691)

Having had 4 ESWT treatments on both feet and one treatment on 1 foot I am totally convinced that putting some one to sleep for this procedure places the patient ats a risk they should not be faced with. It also drives up the price by probably double the factor. When the Ossatron was first approved by the FDA the manufacturer probably made a big mistake in using a protocol of doing this in a hospital setting and as a result that is the way the FDA approved it. Probably in excess of 90% of all ESWT treatments world wide are performed in a Doctors office and not in a hospital setting. one of our former posters had 11 treatments on each foot with 3 different machines. His last report was he was cured after many years. This treatment has been around for many years now and I would think there should have been over a million procedures performed. Less danger with this than a flu shot and for most people painless. It has cured or improved many patients and not helped others. The stats are often in dispute. It in my opinion is certainly worth a try and most certainly worth a try before going the surgery route.