What is the Success Rate of Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is a proven treatment supported by medical literature and has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of plantar fasciopathy. Studies have shown that shockwave therapy can improve up to 91% of conditions, with a success rate of 84%. Finnoff points out that several high-quality randomized clinical trials have provided substantial evidence that extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive, safe and effective option for treating tendinopathy throughout the musculoskeletal system. It has been concluded that shock wave therapy is a safe and effective modality in the treatment of proximal plantar fasciitis.

The most important physical parameters of shock wave therapy for the treatment of orthopedic disorders include pressure distribution, energy flow density, and total acoustic energy. Low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ReSWT) has been explored as an individualized protocol for plantar fasciopathy, which evaluates success rates and the rate of recurrence over a period of 1 year after treatment. The one-year success rate was 98%, with a 1-year recurrence rate of 8%. The mechanism of shock wave therapy may involve the improvement of angiogenic growth factors, which in turn induce neovascularization and improve blood supply at the tendin-bone junction of the Achilles tendon in rabbits.

Shockwave therapy is believed to alleviate pain due to insertional tendinopathy by inducing neovascularization and improving blood supply to tissue, and initiating the repair of chronically inflamed tissues through tissue regeneration. Wang et al compared the results of shock wave therapy in 57 patients (58 elbows) with lateral epicondylitis of the elbow with a control group of 6 patients (6 elbows) with a follow-up of 12 to 26 months. The results showed complete elimination of calcium deposits in 57.6%, partial elimination or fragmentation in 15.1% and unchanged in 27.3% for the shock wave group. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) has gained significant acceptance in Europe, South America, Asia, and North America, leading to the change from the European Society for Musculoskeletal Shockwave Therapy to the International Society for Musculoskeletal Shockwave Therapy (ISMST) in 2000.

Wang et al also compared the results of shock wave therapy in 37 patients (39 shoulders) with calcific shoulder tendonitis with a control group of 6 patients (6 shoulders). Although there is considerable literature on the positive effects of low-intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy on the penis, there are substantial differences with respect to energy sources and extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) devices.