What is Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)?
‘Extracorporeal’ means outside the body. The shockwaves are pressure waves delivered externally. This has become an established non-surgical alternative treatment for various bone and soft tissue disorders and speed up the recovery.
How does it work?
The exact area of pain is identified. This gets targeted using a hand-held probe, which generates acoustic (sound) waves. These waves create reduction in pain by decreasing the quantity of pain receptors that transmit pain impulses and also decreasing the local factors, which can cause pain. Studies have shown that these sound waves can heal the affected area by increasing the blood flow and stimulating cell regeneration.
Is this for me?
This is a safe and effective treatment of acute and chronic tendonitis, bursitis (Trochanteric Bursitis), Jumper’s Knee, Insertional pain and Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome.
Before shockwave therapy is considered you will have a full clinical assessment.
Your surgeon will discuss various treatment options. Before the treatment is commenced you may require a MR or Ultrasound scan.
How is this carried out?
You do not require any anaesthetic. Patients are typically treated in an outpatient environment (not in theatre). The shockwaves are felt as pulses which are a little uncomfortable but not painful. Typically your first treatment will start with a low level of intensity and increase this to a point where you feel comfortable. Shock-wave therapy treatments are usually performed at weekly intervals. Each treatment session takes about 20 minutes and you may need between 3 treatment sessions (possibly 5 for resistant problems). It may take several weeks to see an overall benefit. It is suggested that your surgeon reviews you at 6-8 weeks to assess your overall progress.
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