Background: Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) has recently been used as a new treatment modality for plantar fasciitis. We aimed to determine the efficacy of ESWT by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings.
Methods: Thirty patients with plantar fasciitis who had received no treatment for 6 months were included. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy was applied once a week for a total of three sessions (frequency of 12-15 Hz, 2-3 bars, and 2,500 pulses). All of the patients were assessed with the visual analog scale, a 6-point evaluation scale, the Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS), and MRI findings before and 3 months after ESWT. Visual analog scale scores were used in determining the pain level of patients in the morning, during activity, and at rest. Foot and ankle-related problems were evaluated with the FAOS.
Results: The duration of painless walking according to the 6-point rating scale, the FAOS, and pain showed significant improvements after ESWT ( P < .05). Significant decreases in MRI findings, including thickening of the plantar fascia, soft-tissue edema, and bone marrow edema, were observed after treatment ( P < .05).
Conclusions: Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a safe and effective treatment that yields favorable results in improvement of pain and function for plantar fasciitis. An MRI is useful for determining response to ESWT for these patients.