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Foot Ankle Int. 2012 Mar;33(3):202-7.

Ultrasonographic evaluation of low energy extracorporeal pulse activated therapy (EPAT) for chronic plantar fasciitis.

Author information

  • 1William Osler Health System, Division of Orthopaedics, 89 Humber College Boulevard, Suite 106, Toronto, Ontario M9V 488, Canada. dracula65@hotmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ultrasonographic measurement of the plantar fascia can be used to objectively diagnose plantar fasciitis. The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term effectiveness of Extracorporeal Pulse Activated Therapy (EPAT) for the treatment of plantar fasciitis using ultrasonographic measurement as an objective outcome measure, with a minimum followup of 12 months.

METHODS:

Patients with chronic recalcitrant plantar fasciitis were prospectively recruited and underwent EPAT. Ultrasound measurement of the plantar fascia and patient-rated pain scores were collected before treatment and at followup (minimum of 12 months post-treatment). Twenty-five subjects (35 feet) met the inclusion criteria. The average followup time was 29.4 +/- 13.1 (M +/- SD; range, 12 to 54) months.

RESULTS:

The average thickness of the plantar fascia of the symptomatic heels was 7.3 +/- 2.0 mm before treatment and 6.0 +/- 1.3 mm after treatment (p < 0.001). The average change in thickness of the treated heels was -1.3 mm (-0.8 to -1.8 mm; 95% CI, p < 0.0001). No correlation was found between length of followup and change in ultrasound measured plantar fascia thickness (r = -0.04, p = 0.818).

CONCLUSION:

For patients with a greater than 12-month history of heel pain, EPAT can effectively decrease plantar fascia thickness as demonstrated objectively by ultrasound evaluation and reduce patient-reported pain. No relationship between length of followup and change in plantar fascia thickness was found after 12 months.

PMID:
22734281
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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