Background: The argument on whether extracorporeal shock-wave therapy (ESWT) is beneficial in short- term intervention in adults with plantar fasciitis. It is important and necessary to conduct a meta-analysis to make a comparatively more reliable and overall assessment of the outcomes of ESWT in the less than 6 months.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials from MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL databases from 2000 to 2020. Randomized trials that evaluated extracorporeal shock wave therapy used to treat plantar heel pain were included. Trials comparing an extra corporeal shock wave therapy with control/placebo were considered for inclusion in the review. We independently applied the inclusion and exclusion criteria to each identified randomized controlled trial, extracted data and assessed the methodological quality of each trial.
Results: Four studies involving 645 patients were included. 3 RCTs (n = 605) permitted a pooled estimate of effectiveness based on overall success rate and composite score of visual analogue scales for pain at follow-up 1 (12 weeks). The pooled data showed no significant heterogeneity at the three-month follow-up (p - value of chi-square = 0.61, p = 0.74 and I2 = 0%). The shock wave group had a better success rate than the control group at the three-month follow-up (OR = 2.26, 95% CI = 1.62-3.15, p < 0.00001). For reduction of pain the pooled data showed no significant heterogeneity (p - value of chi-Square 0.28 and I2 22%). There were significant differences between the ESWT and control groups for all follow-up visits (random-effect model, three trials, MD = 15.14, 95% CI = 13.86 to 16.42, p < 0.00001 at three-month).
Conclusion: A meta-analysis of data from three randomized-controlled trials that included a total of 605 patients was statistically significant in favor of extracorporeal shock wave therapy at follow-up 1(12 weeks).