Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) to Treat Achilles Tendonitis and Plantar Faciitis

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 extracorporeal shock wave therapy as a treatment option for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis

What is Low Energy ESWT (Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy)?

Low energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive option that can be an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis when conservative measures such as rest, exercise modification, physical therapy and orthotic inserts have failed to relieve pain.

Shock wave therapy is a technology similar to lithotripsy, used to break up kidney stones. It is readily performed in the office and does not require anesthesia.

NEXT: How does Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) treat plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis? ›
How does Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) treat plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis?

Low energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy is performed in the office without anesthesia. A probe is placed against the skin of the foot or ankle and then a series of energy "shocks" are delivered over five to ten minutes. It it thought that this "jump starts" the body's own healing processes in the affected tissues.

NEXT: What is the recovery time for Low Energy Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)? ›
What is the recovery time for Low Energy Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)?

When low energy extracorporeal shock wave therapy has been performed for plantar fasciitis or Achillies tendonitis the initial stages of healing begin within four to six weeks, with continued recovery for several months. Most patients note some improvement within the first three months. Occasionally, an additional treatment may be considered depending on the response achieved with the first cycle.

It is important to continue stretching exercises and physical therapy during recovery. Most surgeons recommend the patient avoid the use of anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs, such as Ibuprofen) for at least six weeks so as not to interfere with the healing process.

If the low energy shock wave therapy is not effective, surgery remains a last resort option.

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

Patients suffering from plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis may be candidates for shock wave therapy if more conservative treatment methods have not been effective in relieving pain.

Additional Content That Might Interest You
Meet Our Doctors: Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction
The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy - Baltimore, MD
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.

Patient Story: Ankle Sprains
Ulka - Mercy Patient
Ulka

Remember the acronym RICE when you sprain your ankle: rest, ice, compression, elevation. When pain persists after a day, see a doctor.

See All Stories Like This ›