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J Foot Ankle Surg. 2009 Mar-Apr;48(2):148-55. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2008.11.001. Epub 2009 Jan 9.

Extracorporeal shock wave for chronic proximal plantar fasciitis: 225 patients with results and outcome predictors.

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Orthopaedics Department, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkoknoi, Bangkok, Thailand.


Plantar fasciitis can be a chronic and disabling cause of foot pain in the adult population. For refractory cases, extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) has been proposed as therapeutic option to avoid the morbidity of surgery. We hypothesized that the success of extracorporeal shock wave therapy in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis is affected by patient-related factors. A retrospective review of 225 patients (246 feet) who underwent consecutive ESWT treatment by a single physician at our institution between July 2002 and July 2004 was performed. Subjects were included only if they had plantar fasciitis for more than 6 months and failure to response to at least 5 conservative modalities. Patients were evaluated prospectively with health questionnaires, Roles and Maudsley scores, and American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) ankle and hindfoot scores at regular intervals. Follow-up was 30.2 +/- 8.7 months post procedure. Multivariable analysis was performed to assess factors leading to successful outcomes. Success rates of 70.7% at 3 months and 77.2% at 12 months were noted in this population. Previous cortisone injections, body mass index, duration of symptoms, presence of bilateral symptoms, and plantar fascia thickness did not influence the outcome of ESWT. The presence of diabetes mellitus, psychological issues, and older age were found to negatively influence ESWT outcome. Whereas many factors have been implicated in the development of plantar fasciitis, only diabetes mellitus, psychological issues, and age were found to negatively influence ESWT outcome.



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