What is EXTRACORPOREAL SHOCK WAVE THERAPY
Shock wave therapy is a non-invasive method that uses pressure waves to treat various musculoskeletal conditions. High-energy acoustic waves (shock waves) deliver a mechanical force to the body’s tissues.
Shock wave therapy may treat conditions such as degenerated tendons (Achilles tendinitis), heel pain (plantar fasciitis), and neuroma pain.
Complications are rare with shock wave therapy. People who have poor sensation (neuropathy) or hypersensitivity in the target area should not have this procedure. Open sores also are a reason to avoid shock wave therapy. Shock wave therapy is not used in patients with heart conditions or seizures. It should not be used during pregnancy.
A non-invasive probe is applied to the skin. An electrical charge creates an energy wave that is focused on the area of concern. The shock waves create a force on the tissues that may induce healing. It’s not clear why this approach to healing works for some people, but it may be that shock waves cause inflammation and improve blood flow to encourage the body to repair and heal itself.
Shock wave therapy is an outpatient procedure. A probe is placed on the skin after a gel is applied to help conduct the shock waves. High- or low-energy waves may be used. High-energy waves may cause pain and require a local or regional anesthetic. Low-energy shock wave therapy often is performed without anesthesia. Therapy is more successful with active patient participation where the patient tells the therapist whether or not the probe is at the area of pain. One or more treatment sessions may be needed.
The main complications are pain and hypersensitivity at the site of treatment. These problems typically resolve with time. Pain and disability may persist when shock wave therapy is not successful.
Shock wave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that can help avoid surgery. Treatment responses may vary. Success cannot be guaranteed.
Is this covered by Insurance?
This depends on the insurance policy. Discuss this with your surgeon and contact your insurance carrier before having the procedure. If your insurance does not cover it, you will need to pay out of pocket.