Patient guided Piezo-electric Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy as treatment for chronic severe patellar tendinopathy: A pilot study

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2010;23(3):111-5. doi: 10.3233/BMR-2010-0257.


Background and purpose: Patellar tendinopathy is a common overuse injury for which no evidence-based treatment guidelines exist. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) seems to be an effective treatment for patellar tendinopathy but the most beneficial treatment strategies still need to be ascertained. Aim of this pilot study was to investigate if patient guided Piezo-electric, focused ESWT, without local anesthesia is a safe and well tolerated treatment which improves pain and function in patients with patellar tendinopathy.

Methods: Nineteen male athletes with severe chronic patellar tendinopathy received 3 patient guided focused medium to high energy ESWT treatments at a weekly interval. Before and after 3 months VISA-P and VAS (pain) scores were recorded. Data on side effects and complications of treatment were also collected.

Results: No serious complications were reported and patients tolerated the treatment well. Mean VISA-P score improved from 36.1 to 50.1 (p < 0.05), VAS decreased from to 7.2 to 3.7 (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Patient guided Piezo-electric ESWT without local anesthesia is a safe and well tolerated treatment which should be considered as a treatment for patients with patellar tendinopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Athletes
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • High-Energy Shock Waves / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patellar Ligament / injuries*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tendinopathy / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome