Recent Submissions

  • Nearly half of patients with chronic tendinopathy may have a neuropathic pain component, with significant differences seen between different tendon sites: a prospective cohort of more than 300 patients

    Wheeler, Patrick (2022-07-19)
    Objectives: Identifying the prevalence of neuropathic pain components in patients with chronic tendinopathy conditions using the Self-Administered Leeds Assessment of Neuropathic Symptoms and Signs (S-LANSS) questionnaire. Methods: Patients with chronic tendinopathy and 'tendon-like' conditions treated within a single hospital outpatient clinic specialising in tendinopathy were identified. Pain scores, plus global function patient-reported outcome measures (5-Level version of EuroQol-5 Dimension and Musculoskeletal Health Questionnaire (MSK-HQ)), were completed and compared with the S-LANSS questionnaire. Results: 341 suitable patients with chronic tendinopathy and potentially similar conditions were identified. Numbers: lateral elbow tendinopathy (39), greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS; 112), patellar tendinopathy (11), non-insertional Achilles tendinopathy (40), insertional Achilles tendinopathy (39), plantar fasciopathy (100). 68% were female, with a mean age of 54.0±11.3 years and a mean symptom duration of 38.1±33.7 months.There was a mean S-LANSS score of 11.4±6.4. Overall, 47% of patients scored 12 or greater points on S-LANSS, indicating the possible presence of neuropathic pain. The highest proportion was in patients with plantar fasciopathy (61%), the lowest in those with GTPS (33%). Weak correlations were found between the S-LANSS score and MSK-HQ score, the numerical rating scale (0-10) values for 'average pain' and for 'worst pain', but not with the MSK-HQ %health value. Conclusion: S-LANSS identified nearly half of patients with chronic tendinopathy as possibly having a neuropathic pain component. This is of unclear clinical significance but worth further study to see if/how this may relate to treatment outcomes. These results are from a single hospital clinic dealing with patients with chronic tendinopathy, without a control group or those with shorter symptom duration. However, this reinforces the probability of neuropathic pain components in at least some patients with chronic tendinopathy.
  • Radial Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (rESWT) is not superior to "minimal-dose" rESWT for patients with chronic plantar fasciopathy; a double-blinded randomised controlled trial

    Wheeler, Patrick; Dudson, Chloe; Calver, Rachel (2022-07-01)
    Background: Investigating outcomes following radial-extra-corporeal-shockwave-therapy (rESWT) in patients with chronic plantar fasciopathy METHODS: This double-blinded RCT in a single NHS Sports medicine clinic recruited 117 patients with chronic plantar fasciopathy randomised equally to either 3 sessions of rESWT or "minimal-dose" respectively. Mean age 51.7 ± 9.6 years, 66 % female, symptom duration: 32.6 ± 30.8 months. Results: "Average pain" improved by 50 % at 6-months, (>1/3 at interim time-points). Statistically significant within-group improvements were identified in pain, local function, and "ability" PROMs in both groups. Fewer benefits in activity levels or mood. No between-group differences were seen at the interim or final time-points. Conclusion: 3 sessions of "recommended-dose" rESWT is non-superior to "minimal-dose" rESWT in patients with chronic plantar fasciopathy. rESWT may be ineffective in the treatment of patients with chronic plantar fasciopathy, "minimal-dose" rESWT may be sufficient for a therapeutic effect, or a greater number of treatment sessions may be required for benefit. Level of evidence: Level I - Randomised controlled trial.
  • The effect of a formal nonoperative management program combining a hip injection with structured adjunctive exercise rehabilitation in patients with symptomatic femoroacetabular impingement syndrome

    Aujla, Randeep
    Background: Although the initial treatment recommendations for femoroacetabular impingement syndrome (FAIS) may include nonsurgical therapies such as injections and rehabilitation, many patients undergo isolated injections or a rudimentary exercise regimen. Purpose: To investigate the benefit of an intra-articular hip injection and concomitant structured exercise rehabilitation program in patients with symptomatic FAIS ≥6 months. Study design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: For this study we recruited 49 patients with a mean age of 32.8 years (range, 16-56 years) and symptoms ≥6 months (range, 6-250 months) associated with FAIS, as confirmed via magnetic resonance imaging and radiography. After a guided intra-articular injection of corticosteroid and local anesthetic, patients underwent a structured 12-week rehabilitation program. Patients were assessed before and after injection (8 weeks and 4, 6, 12, and 24 months) with a range of patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), including the 33-item International Hip Outcome Tool, Hip Outcome Score, modified Harris Hip Score, the Tegner Activity Score, a visual analog scale assessing the frequency and severity of hip pain, and a Global Rating of Change scale. Range of motion, peak isometric hip strength, and hop tests were assessed. Absolute scores and limb symmetry indices were calculated. The percentage of patients transitioning toward surgery over the period was evaluated. Results: Of the 44 patients who underwent the injection and completed the initial 8-week rehabilitation component, 14 (31.8%) progressed toward surgical intervention over the 24-month postinjection period owing to dissatisfaction and/or symptom recurrence. Patients who progressed toward surgery, as compared with those who did not, reported significantly worse (P < .05) PROMs presurgery and more pain within the first 4 weeks after injection. In the nonoperative cohort, a significant improvement (P < .05) in all PROMs was observed, with 93% of these patients satisfied overall. The Global Rating of Change did not improve, although this was measured only after the injection, reflecting no further significant perceived global change from 8 weeks to 24 months. A significant increase (P < .05) in all hip range of motion and most isometric strength measures was observed at 8 weeks after injection, with these improvements largely sustained until 24 months. Bilateral improvements in hop capacity were observed, with hop test LSIs significantly improving for the single (p = 0.009), triple (p = 0.029) and triple crossover (p = 0.005) hop tests for distance. Conclusion: Although 32% of patients progressed toward surgery, significant improvement in hip pain, symptoms, and physical function was observed in the majority of patients with symptomatic FAIS as a result of a targeted nonoperative management pathway consisting of an intra-articular injection and a structured exercise program.
  • Similar benefits seen after radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy or autologous blood injection in patients with chronic plantar fasciitis-A retrospective cohort study

    Wheeler, Patrick; Dudson, Chloe
    Objective: To compare the outcomes for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis after extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) or autologous blood injection (ABI). Design: Cohort study-retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. Setting: Hospital-based Sports Medicine Outpatient Clinic. Patients: One hundred two consecutive patients with chronic plantar fasciitis, treated with either radial-ESWT (rESWT) (n = 54) or ABI (n = 48), with minimum 3-month follow-up and 96% (98/102) having 6-month follow-up. Mean age 49.5 years and mean duration of symptoms 37.5 months before treatment. Interventions: Patients received either 3 sessions of radial ESWT (one session per week for 3 weeks), or a single ultrasound-guided dry needling and ABI (3 mL whole autologous blood). All patients received standardized after-care, including progressive structured home exercise program of flexibility, strengthening, and proprioception exercises. Main outcome measures: 0 to 10 numerical rating scale (NRS) for self-reported "average pain" and "average stiffness" values. Secondary outcome measures included assessments of local foot function [including Manchester-Oxford Foot Questionnaire (MOXFQ), revised-Foot Function Index] as well as markers of mental health functioning (HAD), global health (EQ-5D-5L), and physical activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire). Results: This study demonstrated statistically significant improvements in self-reported measures of pain and local foot function after either procedure at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months, but no statistically significant differences were seen between groups at any time-period studied. At 6 months, the average pain using a 0 to 10 NRS was improved from 6.8 ± 1.8 to 4.0 ± 2.7 (P < 0.001) after ESWT and from 7.1 ± 1.6 to 3.8 ± 2.7 (P < 0.001) after ABI. At 6 months, significant improvements were seen following either group using a number of different validated patient-rated outcome measures assessing local foot pain and function, eg, the total score for MOXFQ improved from 56.1 ± 12.8 to 42.5 ± 16.6 (P < 0.001) after ESWT and from 58.8 ± 13.2 to 44.2 ± 19.2 (P < 0.001) after ABI. However, measures of physical activity or wider aspects of patient functioning did not consistently improve from baseline values to follow-up periods. Conclusions: Patients with chronic plantar fasciitis improved to statistically significant extent after either rESWT or ABI procedures, with no significant differences seen between groups. The lack of randomization in this pragmatic study is noted, which may have influenced the outcome seen. Potentially larger and more robust studies are required to investigate this treatment comparison further.
  • Three sessions of radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy gives no additional benefit over "minimal-dose" radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy for patients with chronic greater trochanteric pain syndrome: A double-blinded, randomized, controlled trial

    Wheeler, Patrick; Dudson, Chloe; Calver, Rachel; Goodall, Duncan; Gregory, Kim; Singh, Harjinder; Boyd, Kevin
    Objective: To investigate the outcomes following 3 weekly sessions of radial extracorporeal shockwave therapy (rESWT) in patients with chronic greater trochanteric pain syndrome (GTPS) presenting to an NHS Sports Medicine Clinic in the United Kingdom. Design: Double-blinded randomized controlled trial. Setting: A single NHS Sports Medicine Clinic, in the United Kingdom. Patients: One hundred twenty patients in an NHS Sports Medicine clinic presenting with symptoms of GTPS who had failed to improve with a minimum of 3 months of rehabilitation were enrolled in the study and randomized equally to the intervention and treatment groups. Mean age was 60.6 ± 11.5 years; 82% were female, and the mean duration of symptoms was 45.4 ± 33.4 months (range, 6 months to 30 years). Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive either 3 sessions of ESWT at either the "recommended"/"maximally comfortably tolerated" dose or at "minimal dose." All patients received a structured home exercise program involving flexibility, strength, and balance exercises. Main outcome measures: Follow-up was at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. Outcome measures included local hip pain, validated hip PROMs (Oxford hip score, non-arthritic hip score, Victorian Institute of Sport assessment questionnaire), and wider measures of function including sleep (Pittsburgh sleep quality index) and mood (hospital anxiety and depression scale). Results: Results were available for 98% of patients at the 6-month period. There were statistically significant within-group improvements in pain, local function, and sleep seen in both groups. However, fewer benefits were seen in other outcome measures, including activity or mood. Conclusion: There were no time × group interaction effects seen between the groups at any time point, indicating that in the 3 sessions, the "recommended-dose" rESWT had no measurable benefit compared with "minimal dose" rESWT in this group of patients with GTPS. The underlying reason remains unclear; it may be that rESWT is ineffective in the treatment of patients with chronic GTPS, that "minimal dose" rESWT is sufficient for a therapeutic effect, or that a greater number of treatment sessions are required for maximal benefit. These issues need to be considered in further research. Trial registration: NCT02546128.
  • Autologous blood injection with dry-needling vs dry-needling alone treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis: A randomized controlled trial

    Wheeler, Patrick; Dudson, Chloe; Gregory, Kim; Singh, Harjinder; Boyd, Kevin
    Background: Autologous blood injection (ABI) for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis has been promoted as an approach to improve outcomes over standard dry-needling approaches. The purpose of this trial was to investigate if there are improved outcomes following an ultrasonography-guided ABI compared to dry needling alone for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis. Methods: A double-blinded (participant-blinded and observer-blinded) RCT within a single clinic enrolled 90 patients with symptoms of plantar fasciitis that had failed to improve with a minimum of 3 months of rehabilitation. The mean age was 49.5±8.9 years, 67% were female, and the mean symptom duration was 40.0±28.2 months (range: 8 months-10 years). Participants were randomized to receive ABI or an identical dry-needle fenestration-procedure without coadministration of autologous blood. All participants received identical structured rehabilitation and were followed up at 2, 6, 12, and 26 weeks. Outcome measures included local foot pain, validated foot patient-reported outcome measures (Foot Function Index-revised, Manchester-Oxford Foot Questionnaire, Foot and Ankle Ability Measure), measures of general function and "ability" (EuroQol [EQ]-5D-5L, Oswestry Disability Index), specific measures of activity (International Physical Activity Questionnaire), sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), and mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Results: There were no significant between-group differences seen at any time-point studied. There were a number of statistically significant within-group improvements for local foot pain and function in both groups comparing baseline/follow-up data. Overall, levels of pain improved by 25% by 6 weeks and by 50% at 6 months. There were improvements in some generalized function markers. Activity rates did not change, demonstrating that improvements in pain did not necessarily influence physical activity. Conclusion: Coadministration of 3 mL of autologous blood had no additional effect compared to a dry-needling procedure alone for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.