Treatment of painful heels using extracorporeal shock wave

Ching Jen Wang*, Han Shiang Chen, Wun Schen Chen, Liang Mei Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: Shock wave therapy has been shown to improve many tendinopathies at the tendon-bone junction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the safety and effectiveness of extracorporeal shock wave therapy for the treatment of painful heels. Methods: Sixty-six patients, including 45 women and 21 men with an average age of 47.70 years (range, 19-75 years), were included in the study. Each patient received 1,000 impulses of shock waves at a 14-kV generator voltage at the affected site under local anesthesia. Twelve patients received a second treatment, and two patients received a third treatment. Results: Of 58 patients with 6 weeks' follow-up, five (9%) were complaint-free, 21 (37%) were significantly better, 27 (47%) were slightly better, and five (9%) were unchanged. Of 41 patients with 12 weeks' follow-up, 11 (27%) were complaint-free, 22 (54%) were significantly better, seven (17%) were slightly better, and one (2%) was unchanged. The results at 12 weeks were much better than those at 6 weeks. The effect of shock waves on painful heels continued between 6 and 12 weeks. Twelve patients who did not respond favorably to the first treatment showed significantly better results after a second treatment. Two patients who had a third treatment also achieved satisfactory results. There were no device-related problems or systemic or local complications. Conclusions: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is a new modality that is safe and effective in the treatment of painful heel spurs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-583
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - 07 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Extracorporeal shock waves
  • Heel spurs


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