OssaTron Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)

Utilizing extracorporeal shockwaves (ESW) and electrohydraulic or "spark gap" technology, a new device was developed by HealthTronics Surgical Services in the treatment of chronic lateral epicondylitis, or chronic tennis elbow.

This new device, called the OssaTron, emits high-energy shockwaves that reduce inflammation and stimulate healing through a process called Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT). The OssaTron ESW therapy was initially created to treat kidney stone disease. And today nearly 90 percent of chronic tennis elbow sufferers undergoing the treatment report improvement.

The treatment is an outpatient procedure that takes less than 20 minutes to perform and is indicated for patients who are nonresponsive to other conservative treatment for six months or more.

The high-energy shockwaves are directly applied to the point of maximum tenderness, stimulating blood flow and encouraging the revascularization of degenerative tissue.

The procedure begins with a marking of the surgical site and area of tenderness. Either a local or regional anesthesia is administered and a high viscosity ultrasound gel is applied to the marked area, or targeted tissue. The gel enhances the treatment’s effectiveness by promoting shockwave conductivity. Both the patient and physician wear hearing protection in the treatment room in order to reduce the risk of hearing impairment from the ESW sound. The patient's elbow is then firmly pressed to the treatment head and shockwave intensity is selected and applied.

Following treatment, patients restrict stressful activity that could irritate the elbow - gradually increasing as pain subsides and the results of the treatment are felt.