Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ

Question:

My doctor wants to try a new experimental treatment for my plantar fasciitis. It's some kind of shock treatment. The treatment was explained to me, but no one said if it hurts or not. Can you tell me?

Answer:

Shock wave treatment has been used in Europe for the last 15 years. It's fairly new in the United States. There are different kinds of shock-treatment. There's low-energy treatment. This is said to be "unpleasant" by all patients.

High-energy shock waves would be painful but doctors use an anesthetic first. This could be just a local block to the area. For example, the foot would be numb from the ankle down to the toes. In conscious sedation, the patient is put to sleep for the procedure.

Ask your doctor what kind of energy waves are going to be used and whether or not you'll feel them. Don't be afraid to mention your concerns before the operation is scheduled.

John A. Ogden, MD, et al. Electrohydraulic High-Energy Shock-Wave Treatment for Chronic Plantar Fasciitis. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. October 2004. Vol. 86-A. No. 10. Pp. 2216-2227.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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