Focused Shockwave Treatment for Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome: A Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2020 Aug 5;102(15):1305-1311. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.20.00093.


Background: Greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) is a condition of lateral hip pain. Its physiopathology remains unknown, and there is no consensus on optimal management. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of electromagnetic-focused extracorporeal shockwave treatment (F-ESWT) in patients with GTPS.

Methods: This multicenter clinical trial included 103 patients with chronic GTPS randomly assigned to the treatment group, consisting of electromagnetic F-ESWT and a specific exercise protocol, or the control group, receiving sham F-ESWT and the same exercise protocol. Both groups were treated with 3 weekly sessions; the F-ESWT group received an energy flux density of 0.20 mJ/mm, whereas the control group received 0.01 mJ/mm. Patients were assessed at baseline and 1, 2, 3, and 6 months after treatment. A visual analogue scale (VAS) score for pain at 2 months was the primary outcome. The Harris hip score (HHS), Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS), EuroQoL-5 Dimensions Questionnaire (EQ-5D), and Roles and Maudsley score were used as secondary outcomes. Complications were recorded.

Results: The mean VAS score decreased from 6.3 at baseline in both groups to 2.0 in the F-ESWT group versus 4.7 in the control group at 2 months; the 2-month score differed significantly between groups (p < 0.001). All secondary outcomes at all follow-up intervals were significantly better in the F-ESWT group, except for the LEFS score at 1 month after treatment (p = 0.25). No complications were observed.

Conclusions: F-ESWT in association with a specific exercise program is safe and effective for GTPS, with a success rate of 86.8% at 2 months after treatment, which was maintained until the end of follow-up.

Level of evidence: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthralgia / therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy*
  • Female
  • Femur
  • Hip
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tendinopathy / therapy*