Extracorporeal shock wave therapy for non-calcific supraspinatus tendinitis - 10-year follow-up of a randomized placebo-controlled trial

Biomed Tech (Berl). 2014 Oct;59(5):431-7. doi: 10.1515/bmt-2013-0135.


Evidence for the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in supraspinatus tendinopathy without calcification is sparse, and therefore this treatment option is often controversial. Patients of a randomized placebo-controlled study to analyze the effects of ESWT on function and pain were revisited 10 years after the initial consultation. The former verum group received 6000 impulses (energy flux density, 0.11 mJ/mm²) in three sessions after local anesthesia between 1999 and 2000. The placebo group had 6000 impulses of a sham ESWT after local anesthesia in the same period. Re-evaluation of the patients included a relative Constant score as well as pain measurements (visual analogue scale) during activity and at rest. No significant changes (p>0.05) in relative Constant scores, pain at rest, or pain during activity could be found after a 10-year follow-up between the placebo and verum groups after ESWT. The treatment of non-calcific supraspinatus tendinopathy with ESWT does not seem to have an effect on function or pain improvement in the long run. The results of the present study cannot advise the use of ESWT in cases of non-calcific supraspinatus tendinopathy.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Calcinosis / complications
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis
  • Calcinosis / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lithotripsy / methods*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Recovery of Function
  • Shoulder Pain / diagnosis*
  • Shoulder Pain / etiology
  • Shoulder Pain / prevention & control*
  • Tendinopathy / complications
  • Tendinopathy / diagnosis*
  • Tendinopathy / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome