Comparison between radial and focused types of extracorporeal shock-wave therapy in plantar calcaneal spur: A randomized sham-controlled trial

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Şah V., Kaplan Ş., Özkan S., Adanaş C., Toprak M.

PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE, vol.51, no.1, pp.82-87, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 51 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00913847.2022.2091413
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EBSCO Education Source, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.82-87
  • Keywords: Calcaneal spur, shock wave, radial, focused, randomized sham-controlled trial, EXPRESSION, BONE
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Objectives Both radial and focused types of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) have been used in patients with plantar calcaneal spur (PCS). However, no study has yet addressed the comparative effects of these treatments on the condition. Considering radial and focused waves are different from each other, their effectiveness may also be different in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of radial and focused types of ESWT on PCS. Methods Ninety-nine patients with plantar calcaneal spur were randomised into three groups according to ESWT types: focused, radial, and sham. ESWT was applied as three sessions, with 2-4 days intervals (excluding weekends). All patients were evaluated at baseline (week 0) and weeks 1, 5, and 13. The Foot Function Index (FFI) scores were used as outcome measures. Results Compared with baseline (week 0), at the end of treatment (week 1) and at the follow-up periods (weeks 5, and 13) the FFI scores were significantly reduced in both focused and radial ESWT groups (for all, p < 0.001). When considering the change in data from baseline to follow-up periods (weeks 5, and 13), both focused and radial ESWT groups were significantly superior to the sham group in the all outcome measures (for all, p < 0.05). Importantly, the radial group was significantly superior to focused group based on the changes in the FFI scores (for all, p < 0.05). Conclusion Both focused ESWT and radial ESWT are effective in plantar calcaneal spur. When considering the degree and continuity of the positive effects, radial ESWT is superior to focused ESWT in plantar calcaneal spur.