The FDA has approved the OssaTron (HealthTronics Inc, Marietta, Ga), a device that delivers acoustic shock waves, for the treatment of chronic proximal plantar fasciitis. The approved use is for adults who have had plantar fasciitis for at least 6 months and whose pain has not been relieved by standard treatment.
The device consists of a spark plug enclosed in a soft plastic dome filled with water. During the treatment, the OssaTron is placed against the heel and shocks created by the spark plug are passed through the water in the dome. The treatment is delivered under anesthetic or an ankle block and usually consists of a total of 1500 shocks delivered at a power setting of 18,000 volts–like a blunt strike to the heel.
Henney JE. Shock Wave for Heel Pain. JAMA. 2000;284(21):2711. doi:10.1001/jama.284.21.2711-JFD00010-2-1