Clinicians launch new shockwave therapy service for tendon injuries

Shockwave therapy

Orthopaedic specialists in Southampton are using a new shockwave therapy machine to help treat patients with persistent and painful tendon conditions such as tennis elbow.

The system, funded by the League of Friends at the Royal South Hants Hospital, delivers ultrasonic impulses to break down damaged tissue and increase blood flow to affected areas.

Tendons are strong bands of tissue which attach muscle to bone and injuries, including severe inflammation known as tendonitis, occur mainly in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, fingers and heels.

Although tendon problems usually develop during sports or activities which involve sudden movements, they can also be caused by repetitive daily routines which lead to repetitive strain injury.

Conventional treatment options include physiotherapy and steroid injections which can require multiple hospital visits – compared to around three 30-minute sessions of shockwave therapy.

The device will be based at the Royal South Hants Hospital where University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust holds orthopaedic treatment and outpatient clinics.

Gorav Datta, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at UHS whose application led to the purchase of the machine, said: “This is a fantastic addition to our treatment options for patients who will often have had chronic tendon conditions that have persisted for many years when other methods have failed.

“Shockwave therapy has a decent success rate – around 60% – it is non-invasive and we hope to reduce the number of interventions, such as injections and operations, patients require to treat their conditions, so it really is a fantastic development for us.”

He added: “We would like to thank the League of Friends based at the RSH for their support for our service provided at the hospital and this is a great example of how important such charities are to the NHS.”

Posted on Monday 28 November 2016