Shockwave Therapy Offered as Achilles Tendonitis Treatment

Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy - Baltimore

The foot and ankle surgeons at The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy in Baltimore are proud to offer low energy shock wave therapy as a treatment option for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis

What is Low Energy Shock Wave Therapy?

Low energy shock wave therapy is a non-invasive therapy that has been shown as an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis when conservative treatment, such as activity modification, physical therapy, and orthotic supports, has not been successful.

Although the treatment may be painful as the probe is pressed on the tender areas, most patients feel almost immediate relief due to the numbing effect, which lasts for six to 12 hours, after which time some residual symptoms may return. The initial stages of healing begin around two weeks with continued healing for several months. 

It is important to continue stretching exercises and physical therapy during this healing process. Occasionally, two or three treatments may be needed to fully heal the condition. If the low energy shock wave therapy is not effective, surgery remains an option as a last resort.

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What are the benefits of Shock Wave Therapy?

Low energy shock wave therapy is an office procedure that does not require anesthesia. The energy waves that are pulsed through the skin to the deep tissues of the foot have beneficial effects, including:

  • Growth of new blood vessels to deliver healing
  • Opening of the cell walls to enable receipt of healing proteins
  • Acceleration of the cells to manufacture the building blocks of muscle, tendon, facia, and bone
  • Increased blood flow to help remove calcium build up in the tendon and ligament tissues
NEXT: How is Low Energy Shock Wave Therapy performed? ›
How is Low Energy Shock Wave Therapy performed?

To receive a low energy shock wave therapy treatment, the patient lies either on the back or stomach, depending on the area being treated. A gel is applied to the skin at the area of maximal tenderness and a probe is placed over the gel with moderate downward pressure. The probe is attached to a machine that generates the frequency and intensity of the impulses. Approximately 2,500 impulses, or waves, are sent to the area in one treatment, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

NEXT: Who should receive Low Energy Shock Wave Therapy?  ›
Who should receive Low Energy Shock Wave Therapy?

Patients suffering from plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis may be candidates for low shock wave therapy.

Meet Our Doctors: Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction
Dr. Rebecca Cerrato - Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy - Baltimore
Rebecca Cerrato, M.D.

Dr. Rebecca Cerrato, a Board Certified orthopedic surgeon at The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy, is highly regarded for her expertise in foot and ankle disorders.

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