- Study protocol
- Open Access
Does additional extracorporeal shock wave therapy improve the effect of isolated percutaneous radiofrequency coblation in patients with insertional Achilles tendinopathy? Study protocol for a randomized controlled clinical trial
Trials volume 23, Article number: 925 (2022)
No conclusive evidence recommends a prior treatment for insertional Achilles tendinopathy (IAT). It is theorized that both percutaneous radiofrequency coblation and extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) relieve pain within the insertion. However, no clinical evidence shows that either treatment promotes the regeneration of the tendon or if the combination of these 2 interventions offers better function and less pain than one therapy.
The study is a randomized, controlled trial with patients allocated in a 1:1 ratio to one of two parallel groups. Patients with insertional Achilles tendinopathy who are not satisfied with the effect of conservative treatment will be screened. A minimum of 38 patients will be enrolled after deciding to participate in the trial on an informed basis. Then the intervention group and the control group perform radial ESWT and sham-ESWT respectively at 6 months after percutaneous radiofrequency coblation. The primary outcome will be the Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment Achilles (VISA-A) Score. Secondary outcome measures will be Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS) scale, visual analog scale (VAS), Tegner Score, and MRI ultra-short echo time (UTE) T2* value. The assessments will occur in 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years, post-operatively. The differences between the 2 groups will be conducted as intention-to-treat basis.
We aim to investigate if radiofrequency coblation associated with ESWT can provide more encouraging imaging findings as well as functional and clinical outcomes regarding the treatment of the IAT comparing to the single radiofrequency coblation treatment.
ChiCTR1800017898; pre-results. Registered on 20 August 2018.
Achilles tendinopathy is a common disorder in sports and daily life. This injury is frequently encountered in middle- and long-distance runners with up to 36% incidence rate [1,2,3] and may cause up to 5% of professional athletes to a premature career end [4, 5]. Achilles tendinopathy is considered as a multifactorial condition whose exact etiology remains to be determined and can be divided into insertional and non-insertional tendinopathy according to its anatomical location. Insertional Achilles tendinopathy (IAT) is responsible for roughly 20–24% of all Achilles disorders . Patients with IAT complain about compromised function and gradual onset of pain at the calcaneal attachment of the Achilles tendon and could be aggravated by standing, walking, and jogging.
The initial treatment is conservative management, such as eccentric exercises [7, 8], anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) , extracorporeal shockwave therapy [10,11,12], and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy [13, 14]. If nonoperative treatment fails, surgery might be taken into consideration. Most surgical procedures involve debridement and decompression of Achilles tendon insertion and augmentation in case of excessive tendon loss . To date, there is no gold standard treatment for IAT. Scientific evidence shows variable and inconsistent effects among different treatments [16, 17], meaning to provide a most effective management with high-quality and reliable evidence is urgently needed.
It is reported that 25 to 50% of patients with chronic tendinopathy may undergo surgery [18,19,20]. Percutaneous radiofrequency coblation as a minimally invasive treatment has been used in the management of lateral epicondylitis [21, 22], rotator cuff tendinopathy , and foot and ankle tendinosis . It would reduce surgical time and facilitate an earlier return to activity. The procedure has been shown to induce degeneration of sensory nerve fibers and improves vascularity [25, 26], which, in its turn, relieves the pain and regenerates the tendon tissue, respectively. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy which is widely used in Achilles tendinopathy also shares a similar mechanism theoretically . However, no clinical evidence shows those two treatments promote the regeneration and quality of the tendon.
Grosse et al. , Gardin et al. , and Juras et al.  reported that there was statistical significance in UTE-T2* value between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images of patients with IAT and normal population, which indicates that MRI UTE-T2* can be applied in clinical quantitative assessment to monitor the morphological information of the tendon and produce reliable results. In addition, the correlation between MRI UTE-T2* and clinical score can be determined.
Our aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of percutaneous radiofrequency coblation associated with an ESWT protocol and compare it to isolated radiofrequency coblation, via VISA-A score  primarily and MRI UTE-T2* secondarily. It is hypothesized that adjunctive ESWT will promote tendon regeneration, mitigate pain, and improve function as compared to a controlled group.
The protocol will be reported in accordance with the guidelines and checklists for Standard Protocol Items: Recommendations for Interventional Trials (SPIRIT).
Aim, design, and setting
We aim to investigate if radiofrequency coblation associated with ESWT can provide more encouraging outcomes regarding the treatment of the IAT with trustworthy evidence.
This study is a randomized, double-blinded, parallel-group clinical trial (Fig. 1). The 1:1 allocation to either receive radial ESWT or sham-ESWT, after surgery is conducted using computer-generated random allocation sequences and sealed envelopes. The patients of the placebo group will also experience ESWT’s procedure, while the apparatus’ therapeutic head will be placed a support, which will block the propagation of shock waves without changing the equipment’s appearance, noise, and using process. Furthermore, the patients will feel the vibration of the machine, but the insertional region won’t be directly stimulated. The physiotherapists will not take any part in the posttreatment assessment of the patients. The outcome data will be collected by research fellows who are blinded to the treatment procedures to reduce the risk of assessment bias. The SPIRIT Figure shows in detail the schedule of enrollment and assessments (Fig. 2).
Characteristics of participants
Patients referred to the Department of Sports Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University with insertional Achilles tendinopathy who had no symptom relief after 3 to 6 months of conservative therapy  other than ESWT are assessed for eligibility. The diagnosis is based on a medical history and clinical examination including persistent pain at the calcaneus tendon insertion region, and ultrasound or MRI results confirm it.
The inclusion criteria are as follows:
Medical history, clinical examination, and ultrasound or MRI results conform to the diagnosis of IAT.
Age 18–65 years, both genders.
The patient has decided to accept percutaneous radiofrequency coblation and radial ESWT.
The patient must be expected to be able to attend post-operation examinations.
The patient must be able to give informed consent.
The exclusion criteria are as follows:
Previous surgery on the affected limb.
The patient would not be able to strictly follow trial procedures or complete questionnaires.
Non-insertional or mixed tendinopathy (insertional and non-insertional).
Pregnancy or intention to be pregnant.
Currently undergoing follow-up and treatment in a psychiatry department or by other mental health professionals.
Participants may decline to continue from the trial at any time without prejudice and still encouraged to keep in touch and welcomed to inquiry and ask for necessary help.
Other reasons for discontinuation include:
The patient develops Achilles tendon rupture.
The patient develops complex or increasing regional pain.
Other unexpected and unpredictable circumstances when the research team judges that the risk of continuing the protocol treatment is greater than the benefit.
The primary outcome of this study is the VISA-A score. McCormack J et al.  have identified the minimum clinically important difference (MCID) of 6.5 points for the VISA-A. The study of Wei M et al.  indicates an expected standard deviation (SD) of 6.9 points. We have referred to the sample size calculation method of Kvalvaag E et al. . To detect a difference in results between the radical ESWT and the sham-ESWT participants at a level of 5% significance and the most likely scenario for 80% power, 15 patients per group will be needed. Assuming a margin of 20% loss of primary outcome data, we propose to recruit a minimum of 38 patients in total.
A patient is considered to be included in the protocol if he/she meets all of the inclusion criteria and none of the exclusion criteria. Then the patient will be verbally informed of the study and given the opportunity to decide whether he/she wants to participate in the trial on an informed basis without any pressure. Then a written informed consent will be obtained from each participant. Once included, the VISA-A Score, MRI UTE T2* value, FAOS Score, VAS Score, and Tenger Score will be assessed. Within 1 week after being enrolled, the percutaneous radiofrequency coblation will be performed by an experienced surgeon. After the surgery, each patient will randomly take an unmarked, opaque, sealed envelope containing a piece of paper with a unique number from 1 to 38. Then the numbers will be divided into two sets via computing software (https://www.randomizer.org/). All patients respectively entered the intervention group and the placebo group according to their own numbers. Patients of the intervention group will receive ESWT at 6 months post-operatively. At the same time, the patients of the placebo group will also experience sham ESWT’s procedure. Either the radial ESWT or sham ESWT will be administered 4 times at weekly intervals. In all, the treatment protocols for the two groups are similar except for the intervention: radial ESWT. All the outcome measurements will be assessed again at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years after the surgical procedure.
Percutaneous radiofrequency coblation
The symptomatic region will be identified and marked before the anesthesia. Then, the patient would accept a general anesthetic and be placed in a prone position. A grid with a 5-mm interval will be mapped out over the marked site . A 1.5-mm Kirschner wire will be used to puncture the skin and make eyelet-sized holes. The radiofrequency probe (Topaz, ArthroCare, Sunnyvale, California) will be inserted and subsequently activated for 1 second with minimum power, hole by hole. If there exists another concomitant injury such as Haglund deformity, it will be recorded and addressed by endoscopic surgery at the same time. After completion of the procedure, a standard sterile dressing would be applied to minimize tension across the wounds.
Crutch will be recommended during the first 4 weeks after surgery. No immobilization is needed. In addition, all the patients will be encouraged to begin range of motion and isometric strength exercises immediately after surgery, and eccentric training will begin 6 weeks after surgery . At the 4-week follow-up, the patients will be advised to wear regular shoe gear and continue the exercises. Patients shall be able to walk normally without any assistive device since the seventh week.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
The patient will be lying on the stretcher in the prone position with barefoot, and the feet will be positioned towards the shock wave apparatus. The symptomatic area will be marked, then ultrasound gel will be applied on this region which the radial shock waves with a Dolorclast equipment (EMS Electro Medical Systems, Nyon, Switzerland), the intensity being 2000 pulses, 6–8 Hz of frequency, and 1.5–2.5 Bar of pressure per application. Compared with those of radial ESWT group, patients of the sham ESWT group will go through the same process with the same equipment, in which the apparatus’ therapeutic head will be installed a support. The support will block the propagation of shock waves without changing the equipment’s appearance, noise, and using process. Furthermore, the patients will feel the vibration of the machine, but the insertional region won’t be directly stimulated. Either the radial ESWT or sham ESWT will be administered 4 times at weekly intervals.
Patients will be positioned feet first-supine and both feet are placed simultaneously in the dorsal part of the head coil then will be examined in a 3.0-T horizontal magnet (Discovery MR750, GE Medical System, Milwaukee, WI). For morphological evaluation of the Achilles tendon, three-dimensional fat-saturated proton-density-weighted turbo-spin echo (PDTSE) will be used. Other parameters were set as follows: repetition time (TR)=202.1 ms, field of view (FOV)=140 mm× 140 mm, slice thickness (ST) = 2 mm. Four echo time images (TE=0.032, 7.5, 20.5, and 28 ms) will be obtained. T2* value of Achilles tendon insertion region is calculated by fitting the acquired signal at different echo time to a single exponential decay model.
Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment Achilles (VISA-A) score
The VISA-A score is a validated questionnaire for Achilles tendinopathy and contains 8 questions assessing physical activity and pain (0, no activity/maximum pain; 100, maximum activity/no pain) . And it is adapted to the local language. The Chinese version has been used in clinical trials [37, 38], proving its validity (Additional file 1).
MRI: UTE-T2* value
The MRI UTE-T2* has been reported to show significant differences between Achilles tendinopathy and normal tendon [27,28,29]. Thus, the morphological information of the tendon after treatment could be monitored.
Foot and Ankle Outcome Score (FAOS) scale
Visual analog scale (VAS)
All relevant data will be collected by research fellows who are blinded to the treatment procedures and recorded in specially designed case report files. The patients will be identified by an assigned number. At the completion of the study, all identifiable data will be destroyed. The patients are informed, both verbally and in writing, that data are stored and analyzed in a computer, that the patient’s anonymity is preserved, and that the data protection legislation is adhered to.
Adverse event management
Achilles tendon rupture, skin infections, nerve damage, and restricted ankle motion are presumably complications of both the percutaneous radiofrequency coblation and the ESWT treatment, therefore the number of complications will be registered and will be treated accordingly. Furthermore, an adverse event is defined as any unintended, unfavorable finding, symptom, or disease that occurs, whether it is considered to be related to the study or not. Adverse events will be recorded. Serious adverse events (SAEs) is defined as an event or reaction which will cause death, life-threatening situations, hospitalization or prolongation of existing hospitalization, or permanent or severe disability. SAEs will be reported to the ethics committee within 24 h.
End of trial
The end of the trial will be defined as the collection of 2 years of outcome data from the last participant.
All continuous data from primary and secondary outcome measurements will be summarized by descriptive statistics with the number of observations (n), mean, SD, minimum, median and maximum. Uncontinuous data such as co-morbidities concomitant injuries will be summarized by descriptive statistics with the number of observations, calculating the incidence separately and analyzing whether it is associated with prognosis. The primary point for analyses of efficacy will be 6 months after surgery, then 1 year and 2 years. A statistical software program (SPSS for Windows, version 23.0; SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL) will be used for statistical analysis in this study. Group comparison will be statistically analyzed by either Student’s t test or Mann-Whitney U test, depending on whether the data is normally distributed. The significance level will be set at a p value <0.05.
Patient and public involvement
Neither patients nor the public was involved in the design of the study, including conceiving the research questions and deciding the outcomes. However, all participants will be asked whether they would like to receive a copy of the trial results at the time of consent. Once completed the trial, a copy of the personal results will be emailed to participants who said yes. Also, the burden of the intervention will be assessed by participants themselves using a questionnaire [39, 40].
Nonoperative management is the first line of treatment for IAT, though the most effective standard procedure is controversially debated . However, conservative therapy is a time-consuming procedure, and approximately a quarter to half of all patients do not respond to it [20, 42]. Thus, as a minimally invasive operation, percutaneous radiofrequency coblation has been brought into attention. This technique allows patients to hasten their resolution of pain and shorten their return to activity [26, 43] though there is insufficient evidence to prove its clinical efficacy of Achilles tendinopathy, especially when the BMI of the patient is relatively high . On the other hand, isolated ESWT has been reported as an alternative option for IAT by extensive studies [15, 44]. Rompe et al.  have showed ESWT is more beneficial in combination with eccentric exercises in non-insertional tendinopathy. Then we intend to seek for a combination method for insertional tendinopathy as well. This study protocol describes the randomized controlled trial directly comparing the effectiveness of percutaneous radiofrequency coblation associated with ESWT and isolated percutaneous radiofrequency coblation.
To our best knowledge, most studies used isolated VISA-A score as the primary outcome measurement for the prognosis of Achilles tendinopathy [46, 47] because it is the validated assessment for this quite frequent disorder. However, at the same time, there are few radiographic descriptions of the Achilles tendon. Therefore, we introduce MRI UTE-T2* as our secondary outcome measurement to monitor the status of Achilles tendon and to see the correlations with clinical scores besides the comparison of the effectiveness on function and pain between 2 interventions, which could be our secondary aim.
In conclusion, this randomized, double-blinded, parallel-group clinical trial aims to investigate if radiofrequency coblation associated with ESWT can provide more encouraging imaging findings and functional and clinical outcomes regarding the treatment of the IAT compared to the single radiofrequency coblation treatment.
Protocol Amendment Number: 02. Issue Date: 1 Aug 2020. The randomized trial is currently enrolling participants. Recruitment began in October 2018 and the approximate date when recruitment will be completed in October 2021. The end of the trial will be defined as the collection of 2 years of outcome data from the last participant.
Availability of data and materials
Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analyzed during the current study.
Insertional Achilles tendinopathy
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment Achilles
Foot and Ankle Outcome Score
Visual analog scale
Ultra-short echo time
Magnetic resonance imaging
Minimum clinically important difference
Field of view
Serious adverse events
Hirschmuller A, Frey V, Deibert P, et al. Achilles tendon power doppler sonography in 953 long distance runners - a cross sectional study. Ultraschall Med. 2010;31(4):387–93. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0029-1245189.
Kujala UM, Sarna S, Kaprio J. Cumulative incidence of achilles tendon rupture and tendinopathy in male former elite athletes. Clin J Sport Med. 2005;15(3):133–5.
Kvist M. Achilles tendon injuries in athletes. Ann Chir Gynaecol. 1991;80(2):188–201.
Lysholm J, Wiklander J. Injuries in runners. Am J Sports Med. 1987;15(2):168–71. https://doi.org/10.1177/036354658701500213.
Li HY, Hua YH. Achilles tendinopathy: current concepts about the basic science and clinical treatments. BioMed Res Int. 2016;2016:6492597. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/6492597.
Caudell GM. Insertional achilles tendinopathy. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2017;34(2):195–205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpm.2016.10.007.
Kedia M, Williams M, Jain L, et al. The effects of conventional physical therapy and eccentric strengthening for insertional achilles tendinopathy. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2014;9(4):488–97.
Rees JD, Wolman RL, Wilson A. Eccentric exercises; why do they work, what are the problems and how can we improve them? Br J Sports Med. 2009;43(4):242–6. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2008.052910.
Maquirriain J, Kokalj A. Management of acute Achilles tendinopathy: effect of etoricoxib on pain control and leg stiffness. Georgian Med News. 2013;14(222):36–43.
Lee JY, Yoon K, Yi Y, et al. Long-term outcome and factors affecting prognosis of extracorporeal shockwave therapy for chronic refractory achilles tendinopathy. Ann Rehabil Med. 2017;41(1):42–50. https://doi.org/10.5535/arm.2017.41.1.42.
Vulpiani MC, Trischitta D, Trovato P, et al. Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) in Achilles tendinopathy. A long-term follow-up observational study. J Sports Med Phys Fit. 2009;49(2):171–6.
Rasmussen S, Christensen M, Mathiesen I, et al. Shockwave therapy for chronic Achilles tendinopathy: a double-blind, randomized clinical trial of efficacy. Acta Orthop. 2008;79(2):249–56. https://doi.org/10.1080/17453670710015058.
Sadoghi P, Rosso C, Valderrabano V, et al. The role of platelets in the treatment of Achilles tendon injuries. J Orthop Res. 2013;31(1):111–8. https://doi.org/10.1002/jor.22199.
Filardo G, Kon E, Di Matteo B, et al. Platelet-rich plasma injections for the treatment of refractory Achilles tendinopathy: results at 4 years. Blood Transfus. 2014;12(4):533–40. https://doi.org/10.2450/2014.0289-13.
Traina F, Perna F, Ruffilli A, et al. Surgical treatment of insertional Achilles tendinopathy: a systematic review. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2016;30(4 Suppl 1):131–8.
Kearney R, Costa ML. Insertional achilles tendinopathy management: a systematic review. Foot Ankle Int. 2010;31(8):689–94. https://doi.org/10.3113/fai.2010.0689.
Roche AJ, Calder JD. Achilles tendinopathy: a review of the current concepts of treatment. Bone Joint J. 2013;95-b(10):1299–307. https://doi.org/10.1302/0301-620x.95b10.3188110.1302/0301-620x.95b9.33025.
Lee GP, Ogden JA, Cross GL. Effect of extracorporeal shock waves on calcaneal bone spurs. Foot Ankle Int. 2003;24(12):927–30. https://doi.org/10.1177/107110070302401210.
Alfredson H, Lorentzon R. Chronic Achilles tendinosis: recommendations for treatment and prevention. Sports Med (Auckland, NZ). 2000;29(2):135–46. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200029020-00005.
Johnston E, Scranton P Jr, Pfeffer GB. Chronic disorders of the Achilles tendon: results of conservative and surgical treatments. Foot Ankle Int. 1997;18(9):570–4. https://doi.org/10.1177/107110079701800907.
Meknas K, Odden-Miland A, Mercer JB, et al. Radiofrequency microtenotomy: a promising method for treatment of recalcitrant lateral epicondylitis. Am J Sports Med. 2008;36(10):1960–5. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546508318045.
Tasto JP, Cummings J, Medlock V, et al. Microtenotomy using a radiofrequency probe to treat lateral epicondylitis. Arthroscopy. 2005;21(7):851–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2005.03.019.
Taverna E, Battistella F, Sansone V, et al. Radiofrequency-based plasma microtenotomy compared with arthroscopic subacromial decompression yields equivalent outcomes for rotator cuff tendinosis. Arthroscopy. 2007;23(10):1042–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2007.04.018.
Yeap EJ, Chong KW, Yeo W, et al. Radiofrequency coblation for chronic foot and ankle tendinosis. J Orthop Surg (Hong Kong). 2009;17(3):325–30. https://doi.org/10.1177/230949900901700317.
Smith WB, Melton W, Davies J. Midsubstance tendinopathy, percutaneous techniques (platelet-rich plasma, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, prolotherapy, radiofrequency ablation). Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2017;34(2):161–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpm.2016.10.005.
Takahashi N, Tasto JP, Ritter M, et al. Pain relief through an antinociceptive effect after radiofrequency application. Am J Sports Med. 2007;35(5):805–10. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546506297085.
Grosse U, Syha R, Hein T, et al. Diagnostic value of T1 and T2 * relaxation times and off-resonance saturation effects in the evaluation of Achilles tendinopathy by MRI at 3T. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2015;41(4):964–73. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmri.24657.
Silbernagel KG, Gustavsson A, et al. Evaluation of lower leg function in patients with Achilles tendinopathy. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2006;14(11):1207–17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-006-0150-6.
Juras V, Zbyn S, Pressl C, et al. Regional variations of T(2)* in healthy and pathologic achilles tendon in vivo at 7 Tesla: preliminary results. Magn Reson Med. 2012;68(5):1607–13. https://doi.org/10.1002/mrm.24136.
Robinson JM, Cook JL, Purdam C, et al. The VISA-A questionnaire: a valid and reliable index of the clinical severity of Achilles tendinopathy. Br J Sports Med. 2001;35(5):335–41.
Chinese Society of Sports Medicine, Xu H, Li H, et al. Chinese consensus on insertional Achilles tendinopathy. Orthop J Sports Med. 2019;7(10):2325967119879052. https://doi.org/10.1177/2325967119879052.
McCormack J, Underwood F, Slaven E, et al. The minimum clinically important difference on the visa-a and lefs for patients with insertional achilles tendinopathy. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2015;10(5):639–44.
Wei M, Liu Y, Li Z, et al. Comparison of clinical efficacy among endoscopy-assisted radio-frequency ablation, extracorporeal shockwaves, and eccentric exercises in treatment of insertional achilles tendinosis. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2017;107(1):11–6. https://doi.org/10.7547/14-146.
Kvalvaag E, Brox JI, Engebretsen KB, et al. Is radial Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (rEWST) combined with supervised exercises (SE) more effective than sham rESWT and SE in patients with subacromial shoulder pain? Study protocol for a double-blind randomised, sham-controlled trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2015;16:248. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-015-0712-1.
Deol P, Philbin T. Bipolar radiofrequency microtenotomy for chronic achilles tendinosis. Oper Tech Orthop. 2008;18(4):254–8. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.oto.2009.02.004.
Shibuya N, Thorud JC, Humphers JM, et al. Is percutaneous radiofrequency coblation for treatment of Achilles tendinosis safe and effective? J Foot Ankle Surg. 2012;51(6):767–71. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.jfas.2012.08.011.
Song YJ, Chen G, Jia SH, et al. Good outcomes at mid-term following the reconstruction of chronic Achilles tendon rupture with semitendinosus allograft. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2018. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-018-5113-1.
Zhang S, Li H, Yao W, et al. Therapeutic Response of extracorporeal shock wave therapy for insertional achilles tendinopathy between sports-active and nonsports-active patients with 5-year follow-up. Orthop J Sports Med. 2020;8(1):2325967119898118. https://doi.org/10.1177/2325967119898118.
Tran VT, Montori VM, Eton DT, et al. Development and description of measurement properties of an instrument to assess Treatment Burden among patients with multiple chronic conditions. BMC Med. 2012;10:68.
Eton DT, Oliveira DR, Egginton J, et al. Understanding the burden of treatment in patients with multiple chronic conditions: Evidence from exploratory interviews. Qual Life Res. 2010;19:ab.1673.
Alfredson H, Cook J. A treatment algorithm for managing Achilles tendinopathy: new treatment options. Br J Sports Med. 2007;41(4):211–6. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2007.035543.
Paavola M, Kannus P, Paakkala T, et al. Long-term prognosis of patients with achilles tendinopathy. An observational 8-year follow-up study. Am J Sports Med. 2000;28(5):634–42.
Ochiai N, Tasto JP, Ohtori S, et al. Nerve regeneration after radiofrequency application. Am J Sports Med. 2007;35(11):1940–4. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546507304175.
Gerdesmeyer L, Mittermayr R, Fuerst M, et al. Current evidence of extracorporeal shock wave therapy in chronic Achilles tendinopathy. Int J Surg (London, England). 2015;24(Pt B):154–9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2015.07.718.
Rompe JD, Furia J, Maffulli N. Eccentric loading versus eccentric loading plus shock-wave treatment for midportion achilles tendinopathy: a randomized controlled trial. Am J f Sports Med. 2009;37(3):463–70. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546508326983.
Habets B, van Cingel REH, Backx FJG, et al. Alfredson versus Silbernagel exercise therapy in chronic midportion Achilles tendinopathy: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017;18(1):296. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-017-1656-4.
McCormack JR, Underwood FB, Slaven EJ, et al. Eccentric exercise versus eccentric exercise and soft tissue treatment (Astym) in the management of insertional achilles tendinopathy. Sports Health. 2016;8(3):230–7. https://doi.org/10.1177/1941738116631498.
Ancillary and post-trial care
Patients who remain with pain or reduced function around the Achilles tendon after the trial could be offered free consultations.
This clinical study will be published in a relevant medical journal after the trial has been completed and the data has been analyzed.
This study is supported by Shanghai Hospital Development Center (SHDC12018X26). The study funder has no role in the study design, data collection and management, and manuscript writing publication.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
The protocol was approved by the institutional review board of Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University on 13 January 2017 (KY2016 - 315). And the project was registered in the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry on 20 August 2018 (ChiCTR1800017898). Written consent will be obtained from all participants by the investigator.
Consent for publication
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Song, YJ., Xuan, WK. & Hua, YH. Does additional extracorporeal shock wave therapy improve the effect of isolated percutaneous radiofrequency coblation in patients with insertional Achilles tendinopathy? Study protocol for a randomized controlled clinical trial. Trials 23, 925 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-022-06847-z
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Percutaneous radiofrequency coblation
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
- Randomized controlled trial