Elastosonographic evaluation after extracorporeal shockwave treatment in plantar fasciopathy

Federica Alviti, Chiara D'Ercole, Giuseppe Schillizzi, Massimiliano Mangone, Andrea Bernetti, Francesco Ioppolo, Luca Di Sante, Paolo Minafra, Valter Santilli, Daniela Elia, Gianfranco Vallone, Ferdinando D'ambrosio, Vito Cantisani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM: To assess the ultrasound features in patients with plantar fasciopathy before and after extracorporeal shock waves therapy (ESWT), using conventional grey-scale imaging and both strain (SE) and shear wave (SWE) elastosonographic evaluation. MATERIAL AND METHOD: Consecutive patients of both sexes attending our outpatient's clinic, with diagnosis of unilateral plantar fasciopathy, were enrolled. Patients were treated with 3 sessions of ESWT once a week, and underwent clinical and ultrasound evaluation at baseline and at one and three months after treatment. Roles and Maudsley score (RM), visual analog scale (VAS) and 17-Italian Foot Function Index (FFI), were used to assess pain and functional improvement. RESULTS: Twenty patients (11 female and 9 male) were enrolled in the study. Contralateral asymptomatic healthy plantar fascia was used as a control. At baseline, SWE velocity (SWEv) showed statistically significant difference between affected 3.8 (1.5; 5.1) m/s and healthy side 4.7 (4.07; 7.04) m/s, (p=0.006); no significant difference was found for strain ratio values (p=0.656). SWEv post hoc test results showed a significant difference from baseline 3.8 (1.5-5.1) m/s and three month 5.23 (4.55-6.74) m/s follow up visit (p=0.003). Significant statistical negative correlation was found between the SWEv and VAS (p=0.001) and positive correlation between the SWEv and FFI (p=0.012). CONCLUSION: SWE was effective in assessing plantar fascia elasticity and its alteration in fasciopathy. Furthermore, on the basis of the correlation with pain and functional scales, this technique appears to be a useful additional technique to conventional ultrasound for monitoring the efficacy of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-404
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Ultrasonography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 24 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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