Extracorporeal shockwave therapy for patellar tendinopathy: a review of the literature

The purpose of this review was to study the effectiveness of ESWT treatment for patellar tendinopathy; to draft guidelines for an effective treatment protocol of ESWT treatment; and to identify topics for further research.  Seven articles describing the effectiveness of ESWT on patellar tendinopathy were included. These studies included a total of 283 patients (298 tendons), 204 of whom (215 tendons) were assigned to ESWT treatment. The treatment results were positive but most studies had methodological deficiencies, small numbers and/or short follow-up periods. Method of application and shockwave generation, energy level, number and frequency of treatments, use of (local) anaesthesia and method of localisation were variable.

ESWT seems to be a safe and promising treatment for patellar tendinopathy with a positive effect on pain and function. Based on current knowledge it is impossible to recommend a specific treatment protocol.

British Journal of Sports Medicine 2009, 43, 163-168

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