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Effectiveness of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy Without Local Anesthesia in Patients With Recalcitrant Plantar Fasciitis: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Lou, Jing MD; Wang, Shuai MD; Liu, Shuitao PhD, MD; Xing, Gengyan PhD, MD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: August 2017 - Volume 96 - Issue 8 - p 529–534
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000666
Original Research Articles CME Article . 2017 Series . Number 10

Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis was to investigate the efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy in the treatment of recalcitrant plantar fasciitis without local anesthesia.

Methods: The Cochrane Library, EMBASE, PubMed, and Web of Science databases were searched from inception to September 2015 for randomized controlled trials comparing ESWT without local anesthesia versus placebo for treatment of plantar fasciitis in adults. The primary outcome was the 12-week post-intervention success rate of reducing the visual analog scale score by 60% from baseline at the first step in the morning, reducing the VAS score by 60% from baseline during daily activities, reducing the Roles and Maudsley score, reducing overall heel pain, and reducing pain after applying a force meter.

Results: Nine studies were included in the meta-analysis. Compared with placebo, ESWT significantly improved the success rate of reducing overall heel pain, reducing the VAS score by 60% at the first step in the morning and during daily activities, improving the Roles and Maudsley score to excellent or good, and reducing heel pain after application of a pressure meter.

Conclusions: ESWT seems to be particularly effective in relieving pain associated with RPF. ESWT should be considered when traditional treatments have failed.

To Claim CME Credits: Complete the self-assessment activity and evaluation online at

CME Objectives: Upon completion of this article, the reader should be able to (1) understand the recovery rates for nonsurgical treatment of plantar fasciitis, (2) understand the role of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) in the treatment of recalcitrant plantar fasciitis, and (3) understand the indications to incorporate ESWT in the treatment plan of recalcitrant plantar fasciitis.

Level: Advanced

Accreditation: The Association of Academic Physiatrists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Association of Academic Physiatrists designates this activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

From the Orthopedic Centre, General Hospital of Chinese People’s Armed Police Forces of Jinzhou Medical University Postgraduate Training Base, Beijing (JL, SW, GX); and Fourth Military Medical University, Xian Shi, Shaanxi Sheng (SL), China.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Gengyan Xing, PhD, MD, Orthopedic Centre, General Hospital of Chinese People’s Armed Police Forces, Yongding Road, No. 69 Hai Dian District, Beijing 100089, China.

All authors declare that none of them have any financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that can inappropriately influence the quality of the work presented in this article.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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