Extra Corporeal Shockwave Treatment
Extra Corporeal Sound Wave Treatment (ESWT) is commonly used for the treatment of soft tissue and bone disorders. Since last decade, ESWT has been used for the treatment of painful tendonitis (tennis elbow), plantar fasciitis (heel spur) and to treat fractured bones that did not heal normally.
The equipment used to deliver ESWT is highly advanced and is been approved by NICE (National Institute of Clinical excellence). The equipment consists of a computer with a handheld device that allows the surgeon to target the precise point of pain.
Mechanism of Action
The exact mechanism is not fully known. The Sound Waves are focused on the target area. It is believed that micro-trauma caused by the sound waves will increase blood supply to the area and heal the inflamed area. ESWT is thought to break up this scarring and help healing the chronic tendinitis.
The exact area of pain is identified, the computer is then set to deliver high energy sonic pulses at a pre-determined intensity level. Local anesthesia may be used in special circumstances. The treatment lasts for 5-10 mins each sitting. It is recommended to have 3 to 5 treatments at a weekly interval.
Following the procedure, patients are asked to take rest for few hours and use ice packs in the treated area. Within 24 hours the patient is allowed to resume normal activities. Significant pain relief was noted by 60-70% of the patients following the procedure in 3 weeks. No immobilization is required.
Clinical studies have shown a 60-70% success rate while using ESWT to treat plantar fasciitis and other tendon problems involving the foot and ankle. Using a VAS 0-10 (Visual Analogue Score 0 being no pain and 10 being worst pain) 70% of patients treated have had a reduction by at least 5 for their painful condition. No patients have been made worse and no patients have developed complications from the ESWT. Full clinical benefits are realized in 2-3 months following the treatment.
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