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Strahlenther Onkol. 2007 Jan;183(1):3-9.

Radiation therapy for painful heel spurs: results of a prospective randomized study.

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  • 1Department of Radiotherapy, Klinikum Offenbach, Offenbach, Germany.



To evaluate the efficacy of two different dose-fractionation schedules for radiation therapy (RT) in patients with painful heel spurs.


130 patients were randomized into two groups: the low-dose (LD) group (n = 65 heels) received a total dose of 3.0 Gy given in two weekly fractions of 0.5 Gy; in the high-dose (HD) group (n = 65 heels), two weekly fractions of 1.0 Gy were applied over 3 weeks (total dose 6.0 Gy). In 24 sites of the HD group and 17 sites of the LD group, a second RT course was given. The results were assessed using a five-level function score which was documented before RT, at the end of each RT course, and at 6 weeks and 6 months thereafter.


At 6-month follow-up, RT led to a highly significant reduction of symptoms in both groups. In the HD group, 31 sites were classified as excellent (score: 90-100), 13 as good (score: 70-85), twelve as moderate (score: 45-65), and nine as poor (score: 0-40). In the LD group, 35 sites were classified as excellent, eight as good, ten as moderate, and twelve as poor. The comparison of the difference of the sum score and the single criteria before RT and at 6 months after RT using the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney U-test revealed no statistically significant difference of response to RT between both groups.


RT is an effective treatment option for the management of inflammatory heel spurs. The dose for an RT course should not exceed 3.0 Gy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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