Ultrasound Guided Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive treatment for tendons and muscles pain caused by injuries and chronic wear.

ESWT is most commonly used for tendinosis at the shoulder (rotator cuff), elbow (tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow), hamstring origin, patella (jumper’s knee), Achilles tendon or the plantar fascia (heel spur). It can also be used in ligaments and muscles. Prior to treatment, an accurate diagnosis is essential which will usually require a diagnostic ultrasound or MRI scan.

EWST is recommended for patients who have failed at least 3 months of traditional treatment such as anti-inflammatory medications, injections (autologous blood, PRP or corticosteroid) and physical therapy. The beneficial effects of ESWT may be felt only after a series of 3-4 treatments though some patients report immediate pain relief. Four out of five patients treated report significant improvement in pain.

Procedure

One of our sonographers will guide you to the treatment room and perform an ultrasound of the tender area to confirm your diagnosis and find the area of maximal abnormality.

The radiologist, a specialist doctor, will then plan treatment to target this. You can ask them any questions you may have.

Gel is applied to the treatment area and the ESWT probe is placed over the area. Extracorporeal means “outside the body”. There are no needles involved and you will quickly get used to the sensation. Treatment sessions take approximately 10 minutes and we schedule 3-4 treatment sessions at weekly intervals.

An ongoing rehabilitation program should be guided by your surgeon, sports doctor, GP, physiotherapist or podiatrist.

Risks / Side Effects

No serious complications have been reported using low-energy ESWT. Transient effects include redness of the skin for a few days or minor bruising in 3%. Mild discomfort at the site of ESWT is common but is generally no more severe than the pain experienced during use. It should not be performed in patients with malignancy, deep veins thrombosis or pregnancy.

Before your Scan

It is a good idea to wear clothing that allows easy access to the area that is being imaged.

Duration

To be confirmed.