Extra-corporeal pulsed-activated therapy ("EPAT" sound wave) for Achilles tendinopathy: a prospective study

J Foot Ankle Surg. May-Jun 2011;50(3):315-9. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2011.01.003. Epub 2011 Mar 15.

Abstract

Achilles tendinopathy is common and extracorporeal shockwaves have become a popular treatment for this condition, even though previous research has not provided conclusive results regarding its efficacy in cases of Achilles tendinopathy. Our aim was to evaluate 3 weekly shockwave treatments in patients with Achilles tendinopathy, as quantified by the Roles and Maudsley score. A total of 74 tendons in 60 patients were assessed at baseline and at least 1 year posttreatment, including 32 (43.24%) paratendinoses, 23 (31.08%) proximal tendinoses, and 19 (25.68%) insertional tendinoses. The mean age of the participants was 48.6 ± 12.94 years, and patients with paratendinosis (41.44 ± 14.01 years) were statistically significantly younger than those with proximal (53 ± 8.9 years) and insertional (54.26 ± 9.74 years) tendinopathy, and these differences were statistically significant (P = .0012 and P = .0063, respectively). Overall, 58 (78.38%) tendons improved by at least 1 year posttreatment, including 75% in the paratendinosis, 78.26% in the proximal tendinosis, and 84.21% in the insertional tendinosis groups, and no adverse effects were observed. The Roles and Maudsley score improved from 3.22 ± 0.55 to 1.84 ± 1.05 (P < .0001) in the paratendinosis group, 3.39 ± 0.5 to 1.57 ± 0.66 (P < .0001) in the proximal tendinopathy group, and 3.32 ± 0.58 to 1.47 ± 0.7 (P = .0001) in the insertional tendinopathy group. Based on these results, we believe that shockwave therapy serves as a safe, viable, and effective option for the treatment of Achilles tendinopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / pathology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • High-Energy Shock Waves / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Tendinopathy / diagnosis
  • Tendinopathy / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult