ESWT on the risePosted by Ed Davis, DPM on 6/27/05 at 14:24 (177370)
June 2005Positive plantar fasciitis findings help ESWT regain its momentumBy: Jordana Bieze Foster
The tide seems to have turned for advocates of extracorporeal shock wave therapy, less than three years after a provocative study set the trend back on its proverbial heels. In the March-April issue of the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, researchers from Columbus, OH, reported significant improvements in plantar fasciitis pain about four months after a single high-energy ESWT treatment given to 37 patients. Also in March, researchers from Atlanta reported
in Foot & Ankle International that 312 patients with a history of cortisone injection were no more or less likely to benefit from high-energy ESWT than 243 patients who had never received cortisone.
These were only the most recent of six studies on ESWT for plantar fasciitis published since the much-discussed September 2002 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found no difference in pain relief between patients treated with ESWT and those treated with a sham therapy (see 'ESWT manufacturers respond to shock of negative JAMA study,' December 2002, page 62).
Three also involved sham therapy control groups. One, published in the September 2003 issue of the Journal of Orthopedic Research, found no treatment effect for low-energy ESWT, but-like the JAMA study-has been criticized for using protocols that diverged from the manufacturer's recommendations. Another, published in Foot & Ankle International in May 2004, reported more success at three months in patients treated with high-energy ESWT than in controls. The third, published in the March-April 2003 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, detailed positive effects in runners first reported earlier that year at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (see 'Runners in study return to form after ESWT for plantar fasciitis,' April 2003, page 11).
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