What can it be used for ?
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is used to treat a variety of tendon disorders (Calcific tendinitis of the shoulder, tennis elbow, golfers elbow, trochanteric bursitis, jumpers knee, shin splints, achilles tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis).
Where can you get this treatment ?
Mr Sturdee has been using shockwave therapy since April 2009 at the Spire Elland Hospital . It is recognised by the major insurance companies and is a recognised treatment by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence). Although in the past it has been funded by the local PCT’s for NHS patients at the moment there is no routine funding for this treatment on the NHS.
How does it work ?
It works by increasing local blood flow that stimulates cell regeneration in the tendon and repair. It also has an anti inflammatory effect locally. Extracorporeal shockwaves were first used to break up kidney stones and has been scaled down for use in tendons. There are number of papers in the medical literature that show its efficacy. It is a useful non operative treatment that can be performed as an out patient and typically three treatment sessions are required that take about ten minutes. Low energy shockwaves are produced by the machine and the hand piece distributes these to the local tissues through the skin via a medium, usually gel. Patients typically do not require any painkillers or anaesthetic. The machine used is called EMS Swiss Dolorclast .
Mr Sturdee has mainly used shockwave therapy for achilles tendiopathy and plantar fasciitis. All patients are audited and in none of the cases treated has it made the patients symptoms worse.
As of March 2014 Mr Sturdee has treated 45 patients who have had plantar fasciitis with a 65% success rate, and 30 patients with achilles tendinopathy with a 74% success rate. 1 patient with tibialis posterior tendinopathy has been treated with a 100% success rate.