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Upcoming ESWT

Posted by Neil on 12/15/04 at 16:36 (165683)

My mom is scheduled for ESWT in about 2 weeks. She has moderate pain in her heels and has had cortisone injections that seem to help for a couple of weeks but wear off after that. She's had pain in her heels for several years and that has led her to the decision to undergo the procedure. She has had the same doctor treat her but he hasn't ever tried to 'push' this treatment on her. However, after reading this board, some of the statements he has made concerning ESWT seem suspect. First, he indicated that he has had about 80% success from the treatment, and that the 20% that didn't improve, were often overweight, which prevented the waves from penetrating the foot. Also, he is charging $3000 per foot which isn't a large concern because insurance is covering the procedure. However, I'm concerned about my mom having to undergo the procedure again. Finally, I'm wondering whether the circumstances warrant trying this treatment. My mom is in pain; however, it is bearable and she works everyday on her feet. Do the 'risks' outweigh the 'rewards'? Any insights are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Re: Upcoming ESWT

Dr. Z on 12/15/04 at 19:25 (165691)

Hi Neil,
On a scale of one thru ten please rate your mom's pain. What activities is this preventing her from doing. Has the pain caused her knee, hip, lower back pain. Is mom limping when she first gets up in the morning. Does mom have pain when she isn't working. How old is mom? Does mom take medication to control the pain at any time?

Re: Upcoming ESWT

Neil on 12/16/04 at 16:15 (165770)

Dr. Z:

On a scale of 1-10...she says her pain is 8. It prevents her from walking and standing for long periods of time (ie after 1 hour of walking, she must sit down to recuperate). She thinks her knees are starting to hurt as a result but nowhere else. She is limping when she wakes up in the morning from the pain. She has pain any time she's on her feet. She is 54 years old and is not on any medication (other than advil, motrin) for the pain. I sincerely appreciate any insights you might have. Thanks again.


Re: Upcoming ESWT

Dr. Z on 12/16/04 at 16:22 (165772)

From your answers ESWT should be very beneficial to her. If her VAS score was less then five and her pain didn't restrict her mobility and the fact that her knee is starting to hurt would indicate ESWT treatment. The typical protocol is pain duration six months and at least three failed conservative treatments

Re: Upcoming ESWT

Vicki B. on 12/18/04 at 12:51 (165836)

Your mother sounds much like my own story! I am 50 and have similar symptoms with difficulty as described. And yes, I do believe it has affected my knees. I also underwent the cortisone injections, night splints, exercises, ice therapy and 3 adjustments on orthotics all to no avail in relieving my pain. I am in the mid course of treatment right now using ESWT and am fortunate to have a doctor who has the Swiss Dolorclast machine. There are only two in Canada I think. The cost is $1175 for both feet and that includes 3-treatments for each foot. I know there is some rough road yet ahead in the healing process, but after 4 years of progressing worsening problem I opted for this treatment offered to me by my podiatrist. Anyone who has had the pain and crippled by it may feel as I do...have to give it a try. Vicki B.