High-energy Focussed Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy Reduces Pain in Plantar Fibromatosis (Ledderhose's Disease)

BMC Res Notes. 2012 Oct 2;5:542. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-542.


Background: Plantar fibromatosis is a benign disease creating nodules on the medial plantar side of affected patients. While surgical removal is regarded as the therapeutic mainstay, recurrence rates and impairment of daily activities remains substantial. High-energy focussed extracorporeal shockwave therapy has been suggested to be potentially effective in plantar fibromatosis in terms of pain reduction.

Hypothesis: High-energy focussed extracorporeal shockwave therapy reduces pain in plantar fibromatosis.

Findings: A total number of six patients (5 males, 58±4 years) were included with plantar fibromatosis (Ledderhose's disease) associated with pain. Three patients were operated on previously, one had concomitant Dupuytren's contracture. High-energy focussed ESWT was applied using a Storz Duolith SD1 (2000 impulses, 3 Hz, 1.24 mJ/mm²) in two sessions with 7 days between. Pain was 6±2 at baseline, 2±1 after 14 days and 1±1 after 3 months. Softening of the nodules was noted by all patients. No adverse effects were noted.

Conclusions: High-energy focussed extracorporeal shockwave energy reduces pain in painful plantar fibromatosis (Morbus Ledderhose). Further large-scale prospective trials are warranted to elucidate the value of high-energy focussed extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) in plantar fibromatosis in terms of recurrence and efficacy.

MeSH terms

  • Dupuytren Contracture / pathology
  • Dupuytren Contracture / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fibroma / pathology
  • Fibroma / therapy*
  • Foot Diseases / pathology
  • Foot Diseases / therapy*
  • High-Energy Shock Waves / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain Management / instrumentation
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Treatment Outcome