Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is an advanced new technology used to treat several different conditions within the foot, such as plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Originally used to treat kidney stones and other urologic conditions, ESWT is now offered as an alternative treatment for orthopedic conditions in patients who do not want surgery.
CANDIDATES FOR ESWT
Surgery for plantar fasciitis comes with certain risks and is often not successful in relieving symptoms, leaving many patients seeking alternative treatment when conservative methods such as icing, anti-inflammatory medications and stretching have failed. ESWT is now considered a less invasive option that patients may consider before turning to surgery.
Dr. Zarate will discuss this option with you to determine whether or not you are a good candidate, based on an evaluation of your individual condition.
ESWT delivers intense waves of energy through the skin to stimulate the healing process. This is done by inducing microtrauma to the area that will then initiate a healing response. Shockwave therapy can be delivered in both high-energy and low-energy forms. High-energy treatments are given in one session, but can be painful, while low-energy treatments are given over a series of three or more sessions and cause little to no pain. Improvement can be noticed within a few days, and full results are usually experienced after just a few weeks.
The shockwave therapy is performed as an outpatient procedure and only takes minutes. Local anesthesia may be used, but is not always necessary. ESWT is considered a safe and effective alternative to more invasive surgical procedures. Dr. Zarate is experienced in successfully treating a variety of podiatric conditions through shockwave therapy