London Bridge Hospital, SE1 2PR
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
Dr Stephen Motto is one of the UK’s foremost experts in Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT). He has been using ESWT for over 10 years to successfully treat patients with a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, such as tennis elbow and heel spur, amongst others.
What is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT)?
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) is a relatively new technology that uses shockwaves to treat chronic conditions of the musculoskeletal system. It is the same technology used to treat patients with kidney stones in the 1980s without surgery (Lithotripsy). This treatment was subsequently applied to a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and the technology refined in the 1990s.
Dr Motto uses a device called orthoPACE from the Pulsed Acoustic Cellular Expression (PACE) technology platform. This device generates electrohydraulic shock waves that have a biological activating effect which regenerates hard and soft musculoskeletal tissues such as bone, tendons and ligaments.
orthoPACE utilises medium to high energy acoustic or pressure waves generated via the electrohydraulic method to focus treatment for tendinopathies, chronic bursitis, some cases of tibial periostitis (“shin splints”) and may help with delayed bone healing. The PACE principle involves the induction of cellular signals and factors including increased angiogenesis that promote healing in wounds and soft tissues.
What medical conditions are suitable for shock-wave treatment?
Shock-wave treatment with the OrthoPace is recommended for the following medical conditions:
- – chronic tendinopathies e.g. tennis elbow, heel spur (Plantar Fasciitis), inflammation of the Achilles tendon, etc.
- – calcific deposits in tendons
How does shock-wave treatment work?
Shock waves are high-energy acoustic waves generated by a special device. The shock waves are focused on the source of the pain, where they break up the calcific deposits and improve the supply of blood to the affected area. Both of these effects cause the patient’s symptoms to disappear.
What happens during ESWT?
Treatment is carried out in the Sports Injury Diagnosis Clinic consulting room at London Bridge Hospital and takes about 20-30 minutes. The patient is usually able to return to work the following day but should restrict activities during the first week. Follow-up examination and treatment take place at 4-6 weeks, although further treatment may not be necessary.
Is ESWT treatment covered by medical insurance?
As shock wave therapy is a relatively new treatment, it may not be covered by medical insurers. Patients are therefore advised to consult their insurance companies prior to their appointment.
What can I expect after a shock-wave treatment?
Many patients experience an improvement in symptoms almost immediately while others take 2-3 weeks to respond. A few fail to respond with 10% or so experiencing a transient aggravation. There may be a transient reddening or swelling of the area with some patients experiencing a brief increase in pain. Numbness or paraesthesia are less frequent side effects.
Examples of recent successful applications of ESWT at our clinic
- – A walker with a heel spur and a 1 year history of heel pain.
- – A lady with Addison’s disease and chronic Achilles tendinopathy preventing her from working.
If you are interested in Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy treatment with Dr Stephen Motto, at the first instance please book an initial consultation so that he can diagnose and ascertain your problem.