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Bone Joint J. 2013 Aug;95-B(8):1088-93. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.95B8.31497.

Effect of shockwave therapy on plantar fasciopathy. A biomechanical prospective.

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  • 1Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, Chang-Gung University, and Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Chia Yi, 6 West, Chia-Pu Road, Puzih City, Chiayi 613, Taiwan. 7572@adm.cgmh.org.tw


It has been suggested that extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a safe and effective treatment for pain relief from recalcitrant plantar fasciopathy (PF). However, the changes in gait and associated biomechanical parameters have not been well characterised. We recruited 12 female patients with recalcitrant PF who had a mean age of 59 years (50 to 70) and mean body mass index of 25 kg/m(2) (22 to 30). The patients reported a mean duration of symptoms of 9.3 months (6 to 15). Shockwave therapy consisting of 1500 impulses (energy flux density 0.26 mJ/mm(2)) was applied for three sessions, each three weeks apart. A pain visual analogue scale (VAS) rating, plantar pressure assessment and motion analysis were carried out before and nine weeks after first shock wave therapy. It was demonstrated that patients increased their walking velocity and cadence as well indicating a decrease in pain after shockwave therapy. In the symptomatic foot, the peak contact pressure over the forefoot increased and the contact area over the digits decreased. The total foot impulse also decreased as did stance duration. The duration the centre of pressure remained in the hindfoot increased in the symptomatic foot after shockwave therapy. The differences in centre of pressure trajectory at baseline decreased at final follow-up. In conclusion, shockwave therapy not only decreased the pain VAS rating but also improved the gait parameters of the symptomatic foot in PF patients.


Ankle; Biomechanics; Foot; Gait; Motion analysis; Plantar fasciopathy; Shockwave therapy

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