Family Foot Care

Extra Corporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) Heel Pain Treatment

This new procedure uses high powered soundwaves to eliminate chronic heel pain (plantar fasciitis). 

Extra Corporeal Shock Wave Therapy is available to limited areas in the U.S. Dr. Fisher is trained to perform this procedure and offers it to his patients. 

This procedure only takes about 30 minutes to perform and involves no invasive surgery. You can return to regular activities faster than any other heel pain procedure!

  • No incisions.
  • No stitches.
  • No casts.
  • No bone or ligament surgery.


Q.  What is ESWT?

A.  Shock Wave Therapy utilizes an Electro Magnetic Shock Wave emitter to generate shock waves delivered outside the body to trigger appropriate repair mechanisms.

ESWT has been used since the early 1990’s as an alternative to traditional heel surgery in cases of chronic painful plantar fasciitis.

Q.  How does ESWT reduce heel pain?

A.  Research has demonstrated that with chronic plantar fasciitis, the body’s normal inflammatory response has diminished to a point where blood flow is decreased to the injured area of the fascia. Without adequate blood flow to any injured tissue, one’s normal repair mechanisms are compromised. ESWT has been to initiate the formation of new blood vessels. Therefore the treatment acts to jump-start a normal inflammatory response which can lead to healing. The shock waves can also act to over-stimulate pain transmission nerves, which can lead to a re duction sensitivity and discomfort.

Q.  Is anesthesia required?

A.  The procedure is performed under local anesthetic on an outpatient basis often in the doctor’s office. The patient is able to walk after the procedure is completed.

Q.  What can I expect following the procedure?

 A. The most common patient complaint is some minor pain or discomfort during and after treatment. Other side effects might include minor skin bruising, reddening, or swelling of the treated area. However, these possible occurrences usually resolve within a few days.

Q.  Are there patients who should not undergo ESWT?

A.  At this time, ESWT is not recommended for patients who are taking blood-thinning medications such as Coumadin. Patients with pacemakers and pregnant patients are also not considered appropriate candidates for this procedure.

Q.  Will my insurance carrier pay for ESWT?

A.  Although approved by the FDA for treatment of plantar fasciitis, ESWT is not yet covered by all insurance carriers. A fee schedule which is quite reasonable does exist. Considering all factors, ESWT is an attractive option when comparing costs, disability and possible risks associated with surgical plantar fascial release.

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