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Open Access Short Report

High-energy focussed extracorporeal shockwave therapy reduces pain in plantar fibromatosis (Ledderhose’s disease)

Karsten Knobloch1* and Peter M Vogt2

Author Affiliations

1 Plastic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery, Burn Center, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Str. 1, Hannover 30625, Germany

2 Plastic, Hand- and Reconstructive Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Hannover Germany

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BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:542  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-542

Published: 2 October 2012

Abstract

Background

Plantar fibromatosis is a benign disease creating nodules on the medial plantar side of affected patients. While surgical removal is regarded as the therapeutic mainstay, recurrence rates and impairment of daily activities remains substantial. High-energy focussed extracorporeal shockwave therapy has been suggested to be potentially effective in plantar fibromatosis in terms of pain reduction.

Hypothesis

High-energy focussed extracorporeal shockwave therapy reduces pain in plantar fibromatosis.

Findings

A total number of six patients (5 males, 58±4 years) were included with plantar fibromatosis (Ledderhose’s disease) associated with pain. Three patients were operated on previously, one had concomitant Dupuytren’s contracture. High-energy focussed ESWT was applied using a Storz Duolith SD1 (2000 impulses, 3 Hz, 1.24 mJ/mm2) in two sessions with 7 days between. Pain was 6±2 at baseline, 2±1 after 14 days and 1±1 after 3 months. Softening of the nodules was noted by all patients. No adverse effects were noted.

Conclusions

High-energy focussed extracorporeal shockwave energy reduces pain in painful plantar fibromatosis (Morbus Ledderhose). Further large-scale prospective trials are warranted to elucidate the value of high-energy focussed extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) in plantar fibromatosis in terms of recurrence and efficacy.

Keywords:
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT); Fibromatosis; Ledderhose; Pain