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Strahlenther Onkol. 1995 Apr;171(4):202-6.

[The radiotherapy treatment of painful calcaneal spurs].

[Article in German]

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Klinik und Poliklinik für Strahlentherapie-Radioonkologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster.



Many patients attend orthopedic departments complaining of pain on the plantar aspect of the calcaneum. The symptoms may subside spontaneously, but often persist. Treatment is usually by local injection of a corticosteroid, orthopedic devices or other standard treatment. If these methods fail, X-ray treatment may be considered. The efficacy of radiotherapy of the calcaneal spur was evaluated.


From April 1981 through December 1991, 18 patients with painful heel were irradiated mostly with the caesium or telecobalt unit, usually with a dose of 4 times 0.5 Gy. Among these patients, 12 could be followed up during a prolonged period on the basis of questionnaires.


According to the categories of v. Pannewitz 17% of the patients were pain-free by the end of the treatment course, 22% showed marked improvement, 33% showed improvement and in 28% the pain was not influenced. Over an average of 41.5 months 58% of the patients reported freedom from pain.


Low-dose radiotherapy appears to relieve the painful heel syndrome in a high proportion of patients. The overall treatment risk appears to be very small. The mechanism of low-dose radiotherapy is unknown.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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