The aim of this study was to compare the effect of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in patients with chronically painful proximal plantar fasciitis with a further conventional conservative treatment. Forty-seven patients (49 feet) with a previously unsuccessful nonsurgical treatment of at least 6 months were randomized to two groups. Heel cups had to be worn throughout the study. Group 1 (25 heels) was treated immediately with three sessions of ESWT (3000 shock waves/session of 0.2 mJ/mm2) at weekly intervals. The patients of group 2 (24 heels) continued nonsurgical treatment (iontophoresis with diclofenac and an oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) for 12 weeks. After this period they were treated using the protocol of group 1. No significant difference of pain and walking time after further nonsurgical treatment (3 months) was seen in group 2. At 12 weeks after ESWT, the pain estimation on the visual analogue scale (VAS) for activities of daily living diminished significantly by 62.9% in group 1 and by 63.0% in group 2. The comfortable walking time had increased significantly in both groups. Two years after ESWT, pain during activities of daily living decreased by 94% in group 1 and by 90% in group 2 on the VAS and the comfortable walking time had increased significantly in both groups.
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)
- Painful Heel
- Proximal Plantar Fasciitis