Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy found Clinically Effective for Soft Knee Issue Disorder

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Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy found Clinically Effective for Soft Knee Issue Disorder

According to a recent meta-analysis, published in the BMC musculoskeletal disorder journal, the patients with knee soft tissue disorders (KSTDs) and related pain & distorted range of motion can be effectively managed by extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT).

ESWT has been widely used for the management of orthopedic conditions. It can be divided into radial shock-wave therapy (RaSWT) and focused shock-wave therapy (FoSWT). Chun-De Liao and colleagues conducted this study to estimate the clinical effectiveness of ESWT for KSTDs and to compare the effectiveness of different shock-wave types, energy levels, and intervention durations. Search engines and databases were searched for related randomized controlled trials (RCTs) without any language or year barrier. A meta-analysis and risk of bias assessment were done. The odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (Cls) for the TSR (treatment success rate) was assessed to detect ESWT pool effect sizes. The range of motion (ROM) and the reduced pain was determined by calculating SMDs (standardized mean differences) with 95% Cls.

The total RCTs included in the analysis were nineteen of medium and high methodological quality and with ≥5/10 Physiotherapy Evidence Database score. ESWT exhibited significant efficacy in reducing pain (SMD: - 1.49), restoring ROM (SMD: 1.76) and TSR (OR: 3.36). The significance level noticed for ESWT in pain reduction, ROM restoration, and TSR was P< 0.00001, < 0.00001 and < 0.0001 respectively. Further, as per subgroup analysis, RaSWT (SMD: - 1.80) and FoSWT (SMD: - 3.13) reflected remarkable efficacy in reducing pain when applied for the extended period (p< 0.00001 and 0.02, respectively). The High-energy RaSWT showed higher efficacy for TST as compared to low-energy RaSWT; whereas the results observed were opposite in the case of FoSWT. The shock-wave types and its application levels have different efficacy in managing soft tissue knee disorders. Overall, ESWT exerts overall beneficial effects on ROM restoration, TSR and pain reduction among patients with KSTDs.


BMC Musculoskelet Disord



Original title of the article:

Efficacy of extracorporeal shock wave therapy for knee tendinopathies and other soft tissue disorders: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials


Chun-De Liao et al.

Therapeutic, Knee Pain, Knee Tissue, Meta-analysis, Efficacy, OD, SMD
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