Achilles tendon tear following shock wave therapy for calcific tendinopathy of the Achilles tendon: A case report

Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, No.21, Sec. 2, Nanya S. Rd., Banciao Dist., New Taipei City 220, Taiwan.
Physical therapy in sport: official journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.65). 08/2012; 13(3):189-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2011.08.002
Source: PubMed


Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is becoming a popular method for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. We herein report a case of Achilles tendon rupture possibly related to ESWT.
A 49-year-old female was treated with a calcaneal osteotomy due to Haglund's disease on the right. However, she developed chronic calcific Achilles tendinopathy postoperatively, and during the following 2 year period after surgery she received various non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and one injection of corticosteroids. She was subsequently treated with extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), but persistent pain, local swelling and redness over posterior right ankle were noted. Two months after ESWT she experienced an Achilles tendon tear and received Achilles tendon reconstruction.
While ESWT is generally considered safe, physicians should be aware of potential major complications.

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