New shockwave method help patient to walk again

John Brennan, a patient at Spire Liverpool Hospital, has recovered the power to walk with the aid of crutches again thanks to a new shockwave treatment.

John was left unable to walk without crutches due to a condition called ‘plantar fasciitis’, a common condition in middle aged people who have had excessive walking, standing or sport-related careers.

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition which affects the connective tissue that stretches between the heel and the middle of the foot. This is usually caused by overuse, injury or muscular abnormalities.

Following a consultation at Spire Liverpool Hospital, John took part in a new treatment being offered involving shockwave therapy.

The new technology is used to treat chronic tendon inflammation in the hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, Achilles and sole of the foot through a series of energetic shockwaves applied to the affected area.

Shockwave therapy uses a machine to deliver soundwaves to the painful area. Shockwaves mechanically breaks down the injured tissue and calcifications, leading to increased blood circulation and metabolism to accelerate the body’s natural healing processes.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued full guidance to the NHS in England on shockwave therapy for refractory plantar fasciitis.

Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Consultant Mr Eugene Toh introduced the non-invasive procedure at Spire Liverpool Hospital and Formby Clinic. Experts claim that the shockwave treatment creates micro-damage to the area, which inflames the tissue by reaching deep into the damaged area and kick-starts healing process.

John said: “Before I met with Mr Toh, I had tried a few different methods to cure the pain I was experiencing in my heel. When Mr Toh first suggested the radial shockwave therapy I was a bit apprehensive, but after being provided with the right information and reassurance from experts I was confident that the procedure was right for me.

“It took three sessions to get me back under my own steam and now I am able to walk without my crutches, which for me is a huge success. No other treatment has worked for me yet and I am so thankful to Mr Toh and the helpful staff at Spire for helping me back on my feet.”

Mr Toh, orthopaedic surgeon at Spire Liverpool Hospital who performed John’s shockwave therapy, said: “It is always great to hear positive feedback from our patients, I make it my priority to offer the best procedures to get patients back on their feet and back into their normal routine as soon as possible. Mr Brennon is a prime example of how a non-surgical procedure can be more effective than other, more invasive procedures.”

Radial shockwave therapy takes around five minutes on each impact area and no anaesthetic is required. Patients usually return after 14 days and continue the treatment until they see an improvement.

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