Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy
This treatment is low risk and nonevasive. In studies in Europe, when shock wave has been administered for over 10 years, patients with chronic plantar faciitis rated a 80% successful outcome with just one treatment. More recent studies show an even higher success rate. Currently, the Epos Ultra provides a treatment modality that is more accurate and cost effective than competitive machines.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis (commonly referred to as a "heel spur") is a common cause of heel pain and affects about 2.5 million people each year in the U.S.
The muscle that stretches along the bottom of the foot (the plantar fascia) is responsible for maintaining the arch of your foot. When the plantar fascia pulls away from the bone, your heel becomes painful. Your body may react by filling this space with new bone - a heel spur. Most people think that heel spurs are the cause of their foot pain, but the pain is actually cause by the inflammation or irritation of your plantar fascia muscle.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by a number of factors and is common sports injury among runners, walkers and athletes. Overweight people and those whose jobs require a lot of standing or walking are also at higher risk. Other factors leading to plantar fasciitis include flat or high-arched feet, worn out or improper shoes, jogging on sand and increasing age.
How does Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy work?
Shock wave therapy was originally developed by Dornier MedTech to break up kidney stones in the body. The therapy was approved by the FDA in the early 1980s and today is the standard treatment choice for urinary stones.
An important benefit of this therapy is that it's delivered outside the body (extracorporeally), so many of the risks associated with surgery are eliminated. The shock waves actually stimulate or trigger your body's own repair mechanisms. Doctors around the world, especially in Europe, have successfully used this same shock wave technology since the early 1990s.
What is the Epos Ultra?
The Dornier Epos Ultra is a new shock wave therapy system designed specifically for orthopedic use. The system consists of three main parts:
1) Shock Wave Therapy System - this system produces the actual shock waves (also known as pressure or sound waves), which travel through the therapy head's water-filled cushion. This cushion is placed against your foot during treatment.
2) Articulated Arm - the therapy head is attached to the end of this arm-like device on the system. The arm is easily moved, so that the therapy head can be closely aligned to the area of your foot being treated.
3) Ultrasound Imaging System - much like an X-ray, the ultrasound imaging system is used by some healthcare providers to actually see inside your foot. A live picture of your goot will show on a T.V.-like screen, so the doctor can pinpoint the treatment site and closely watch what's going on before, during and after your treatment. Your feedback, relative to the exact location of the pain, is important too.
What happens during treatment?
The entire treatment takes approximately a half hour. Before therapy begins, you'll be asked to identify the area of your foot with the most pain, which the physician will note. An ultrasound image of your foot will probably be taken, as well. The area of your foot will then be numbered, and you'll be asked to lie or sit down on an exam table or chair. A gel will then be applied to both your foot and the therapy head.
The therapy head (which houses the shock wave source) will then be placed against your foot. Using a hand-held monitor, your doctor will release the shock waves with the push of a button on a special control panel.
What are the benefits and risks involved?
Based on worldwide medical experience, extracorporeal shock wave therapy is a safe and effective alternative to the traditional treatment methods available. Shock wave therapy relieves pain and provides a short recovery period. This therapy may eliminate the need for surgery altogether, which is often expensive and could cause other health problems.
There are very few side effects or risks involved with shock wave therapy. The most common patient complaint during therapy is some pain or discomfort during and after treatment. Other side effects might include minor skin bruising and/or reddening, as well as swelling for a brief period of time.
Is this therapy right for everyone?
You're encouraged to discuss with your physician any reason(s) why you shouldn't undergo shock wave treatment. The Epos Ultra has not been used to treat people with the following:
Conditions other than plantar fasciitis that could be possible causes of heel pain
A pacemaker or who have a history of active heart disease
An infection in the area to be treated
A history of current or recent therapy that compromises tissue healing
Problems with circulation or bleeding
Diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage due to diabetes)
Diseases or disorders of the nerve
Diseases or disorders of bone structure
A heel or ankle fracture
Significant disease of blood vessels
Rheumatoid arthritis (pain, stiffness, swelling of the joints)
Plantar fascial rupture
Previous treatment with any other conservative therapies within two weeks of treatment; corticosteroid injection within one month of treatment
Previous surgery for plantar fasciitis
A history or documented evidence of immune system deficiencies (autoimmune disease)
Yes, I am interested. What next?
Contact your certified trained Podiatrist, Dr. Larsen at 308-381-0404 or 800-847-6544.