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Home : News : July 11, 2006

NEWS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2006

Ankle & Foot Care Centers Pioneer Testing of New Treatment System for Heel Pain
Boardman facility is one of only six nationwide to participate in clinical trials

BOARDMAN — The Boardman location of Ankle & Foot Care Centers, which operates 20 offices in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Stark Counties, has been tapped by a Swiss firm to conduct clinical trials on a new medical device designed to treat heel pain. The Centers will be one of only six facilities nationwide who will participate in these trials.

Patients drawn from the Centers’ 17 locations will volunteer to participate in a study that will test the effectiveness of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), a newer treatment modality for plantar fasciitis. This condition, which afflicts connective tissue at the bottom of the foot, leads to chronic heel pain and heel spur syndrome.

Traditional treatments for plantar fasciitis include anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy and orthotics. When these methods fail, the next step has been surgery. However, ESWT offers a non-surgical, non-invasive approach that uses shockwave treatment.

By applying controlled localized trauma to affected areas, the shockwaves actually stimulate the body’s own healing properties. Side effects of this treatment are minimal, and improvement in the plantar fasciitis condition may be seen immediately, or may take from three to six months.

The device involved in the clinical trials, which is manufactured by the Swiss firm Storz Medical AG, is actually a smaller version of one already being used successfully in hospitals and ambulatory centers. It is hoped that this new, smaller device will enable ESWT to be performed in physicians’ offices.

As is standard in such trials, half of the patients will receive a placebo treatment, so that the effectiveness of the trials can be judged objectively. Participants will receive three treatments over a three-week period, and their progress will be charted over the course of one year. Patients must sign a consent form committing to the one-year evaluation period and acknowledging that they may receive a placebo. Participants in the clinical trials will not be charged, so those who do not have insurance coverage have the opportunity to receive treatment at no cost.

Dr. Lawrence DiDimenico, Managing Partner of Ankle & Foot Care Centers, says he’s honored that his facility has been chosen to participate in the trials. “Storz liked our wide coverage area and was impressed with the way we operate our centers,” says Dr. DiDomenico. “The data we gather will be an important contribution to podiatric medicine. If the trials nationwide are successful, I believe they will help establish in-office ESWT as a standard non-surgical treatment for plantar fasciitis.”

# # #

For more information, contact:

Michael Vallas, Practice Administrator
Ankle & Foot Care Centers Inc.
(330) 758-6226 ext. 207
mike@ankleandfootcare.com


Dan Pecchia
Pecchia Communications
(330) 720-6912
dan@pecchiacomm.com

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