Efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave treatment in calcaneal enthesophytosis

Ann Rheum Dis. 2001 Nov;60(11):1064-7. doi: 10.1136/ard.60.11.1064.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT) in calcaneal enthesophytosis.

Methods: 60 patients (43 women, 17 men) were examined who had talalgia associated with heel spur. A single blind randomised study was performed in which 30 patients underwent a regular treatment (group 1) and 30 a simulated one (shocks of 0 mJ/mm(2) energy were applied) (group 2). Variations in symptoms were evaluated by visual analogue scale (VAS). Variations in the dimension of enthesophytosis were evaluated by x ray examination. Variations in the grade of enthesitis were evaluated by sonography.

Results: A significant decrease of VAS was seen in group 1. Examination by x ray showed morphological modifications (reduction of the larger diameter >1 mm) of the enthesophytosis in nine (30%) patients. Sonography did not show significant changes in the grade of enthesitis just after the end of the treatment, but a significant reduction was seen after one month. In the control group no significant decrease of VAS was seen. No modification was observed by x ray examination or sonography.

Conclusion: ESWT is safe and improves the symptoms of most patients with a painful heel, it can also structurally modify enthesophytosis, and reduce inflammatory oedema.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Calcaneus*
  • Female
  • Foot Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Foot Diseases / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lithotripsy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Rheumatic Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Rheumatic Diseases / therapy*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome