Q: What is RSWT (Radial-Shockwave Therapy)?
A: RSWT has been used successfully as a therapy for treating musculoskeletal soft-tissue conditions for pain relief and increasing localized circulation. Radial Shock Wave Therapy utilizes a hand-held applicator that emits ‘shock waves’ that penetrate the skin and muscles to signal the tissue repair mechanisms.
RSWT has been used since the early 1990s as an alternative to traditional heel surgery in cases of chronic painful plantar fasciitis and other foot pain.
Q: How successful is this type of treatment?
A: In the literature therapeutic outcomes for soft tissue conditions range on average from good to very good in 70% of the cases. Although symptoms may not be completely eliminated, they do tend to diminish to a point where pain is significantly less disabling and surgical intervention is no longer indicated.
Q: Are there patients who should not undergo ESWT?
A: At this time, ESWT is not recommended for patients who are taking medications that may prolong or interfere with normal blood clotting, 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 foot pain, RSWT is not yet covered by all insurance carriers. Should your insurance not cover this procedure, a fee schedule which is quite reasonable does exist. Keep in mind that using the Zimmer EnPuls Radial Shock Wave is less expensive than other high powered shock wave generators (such as OssaTron) because the procedure is not performed under local anesthetic.
RSWT with the Zimmer EnPuls is an attractive option when comparing costs, disability and possible risks compared with other procedures for acute and chronic tendon conditions like plantar fascial release, patellar tendonitis, tennis elbow, and achilles tendonitis.
Call Dr. Jeffrey Tucker at 310-444-9393 for a consultation. He serves the communities of Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Marina del Ray, Encino, Brentwood and Los Angeles.