Centers For Foot & Ankle Care


Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT) for Chronic Plantar Faciitis

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition caused by overuse or injury of the plantar fascia and is defined as traction degeneration of the plantar fascial band at its origin on the medial aspect of the calcaneus (heel area). It commonly is painful the first few steps in the morning or after a period of rest. It tends to get worse the longer one stands during the day.

What are the treatment options for plantar fasciitis?

The doctors at Centers for Foot and Ankle care will diagnose and treat this condition with conservative treatment options; such as stretching, night splint, taping, custom orthotics, shoe gear modification, cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory medications, rest and physical therapy. However, as plantar fasciitis becomes more chronic it becomes difficult to treat conservatively and surgical options have to be explored. We are certified in providing endoscopic plantar fasciotomy, Topaz cool ablation surgery, platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections and shockwave therapy (ESWT) treatments. Our doctors will evaluate you and determine the best surgical option for you.

How does ESWT reduce heel pain?

In plantar fasciitis, the body's normal inflammatory response has diminished to a point where blood flow is decreased to the injured area of the fascia. Without adequate blood flow to any injured tissue, the normal repair mechanisms are compromised. ESWT has been demonstrated to initiate angiogenesis, or formation of new blood vessels. This treatment therefore acts to jump-start a normal inflammatory response which can lead to healing in cases where other conservative treatments have not proven effective. The shock waves can also act to over-stimulate pain transmission nerves, which can lead to a reduction in sensitivity and discomfort.

How is the procedure performed?

This procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia. During the procedure, the heel is placed on a water-filled cushion which is part of the Shock Wave Therapy system. The injured area of the plantar fascia is visualized via the ultrasound imaging system. 3,800 shock waves, which reach an energy delivery of 1,300 mJ per square millimeter, are delivered to the plantar fascia. The entire procedure lasts approximately twenty minutes. While the treatment is performed, you may be aware of a tapping sensation within the heel region.

What are the side effects of ESWT?

Compared to surgery, ESWT has fewer side effects and a much shorter recovery time. The most common patient complaint is some minor pain or discomfort during and after treatment. Other side effects might include minor skin bruising, reddening, or swelling of the treated area. However, these possible occurrences usually resolve within a few days. This procedure may not be performed on patients with a pacemaker, who may be pregnant or take blood thinners.

The doctors at Centers for Foot and Ankle are very excited to provide this non-invasive and very effective treatment options to our patients suffering from chronic heel pain. Please call one of our locations for further consultation.


For additional information and testimonial, please see The ESWT Company website.


Ohio Centers For Foot & Ankle Care