Features March 2004 Issue

Zapping Chronic Tendon Pain

Sound waves, not scalpels, now treat tennis elbow, heel spurs.

Patients suffering from debilitating tennis elbow, heel pain, and other chronic tendon injuries often face an unpleasant last resort when they fail drug therapy and rehab—the knife. But now, doctors at The Cleveland Clinic have developed a shocking new way to relieve their pain.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a non-surgical procedure that replaces the scalpel with powerful acoustic waves. The exact mechanism remains unclear, but it’s believed that the sound waves destroy…

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