- Low-dose extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) improves pain and disability, but slightly damages articular cartilage, in patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA).
Why this matters
- ESWT is a promising treatment option, but effects on articular cartilage need further study.
- Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 4-week course of low-dose ESWT vs sham ESWT in 63 patients with Kellgren-Lawrence grade II or III KOA.
- Pain was assessed by visual analog scale (VAS) and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC); function was assessed by WOMAC and the Lequesne index.
- Cartilage integrity was assessed by MRI, using T2 transverse relaxation time mapping.
- Funding: Shanghai Qingpu District Science and Technology Development Fund Project.
- ESWT (vs sham ESWT) was associated with improvement in all pain and function outcomes (all Ps <.001>
- VAS at weeks 5 and 12.
- WOMAC pain at weeks 5 and 12.
- WOMAC stiffness at weeks 5 and 12.
- WOMAC function at weeks 5 and 12.
- Lequesne index at weeks 5 and 12.
- Small sample sizes.