SOURCE: The Heel & Foot Pain Center of Tampa Bay

April 12, 2005 11:45 ET

Good Vibrations Get Patients Back on Their Feet

New Procedure Keeps You Steps Away From Surgery

ST. PETERSBURG, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 12, 2005 -- Each year, more than 2.5 million people in the United States endure a painful and debilitating condition to their feet known as plantar fasciitis. The condition can develop when the thick band of connective tissue that helps support your arch on the bottom of the foot gets injured, resulting in inflammation and eventually heel spurs.

Everyone is at risk, from athletes to overweight individuals and people who spend hours on their feet in professions like waitressing, retail and nursing.

But a technology that has been around for more than 20 years to break-down kidney stones in the urinary track may provide immediate relief to your feet without the invasive risks involved with surgery.

The procedure is called orthotripsy and is being used on patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.

"If someone has already tried physical therapy, new shoes, orthotics, or cortisone shots, and the pain still persists for over six months then orthotripsy may save you from the risks involved with surgery," says podiatrist, Dr. Jeff Kopelman, D.P.M., of The Heel & Foot Pain Center of Tampa Bay.

Orthotripsy involves sending thousands of vibrations into your heel to break-up scar tissue and stimulate new blood flow, providing relief to plantar fasciitis -- the pain associated with heel spurs. It can also be used for pain in the back of the heel as a result of Achilles tendon inflammation.

"Until recently our only option for treating patients with chronic plantar fasciitis was surgery," says Dr. Kopelman. "Not only is surgery risky and invasive, but it can cost almost double that of the orthotripsy procedure."

The FDA-approved outpatient procedure only takes about 30 minutes before patients are back on their feet -- the same day. Orthotripsy treatments are a permanent pain solution for most patients although it can be repeated after six months for severe cases.

Orthotripsy cost between $2,500 and $3,000, and is covered by most insurance plans but if you don't have the appropriate coverage and still want the procedure, starting this year, the treatment is available for $500 from certified private practices. Dr. Kopelman is the first podiatrist to offer the orthotripsy procedure in a private office setting, in the Bay Area.

For a consultation or appointment contact The Heel & Foot Pain Center of Tampa Bay at (727) 321-4040.

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