Shockwave therapy “boosters” appear to extend the effectiveness of an initial treatment for diabetic foot ulcers, according to new research out of Taiwan.

Doctors at Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital treated four DFU patients with extracorporeal shockwave therapy, with one person receiving 12 twice-weekly sessions and three patients receiving six.

Clinicians passed the treatment head over the entire surface of the wound, extending 1 cm from the wound perimeter in every direction, delivering a minimum of 500 shocks per use. After 48 weeks, two patients experienced complete healing while the others saw significant improvement.

Monitoring showed the patient with the least healing had decreased blood flow perfusion over 48 weeks, though blow flood tended to increase shortly after shockwave treatment. The orthopedic and plastic surgeon specialists speculated that the boosters helped sustain tissue viability and repairs.

“The effects of ESWT on DFU scores are sustainable for up to 48 weeks after the initial treatment before deterioration may take place if no additional treatment was rendered,” they reported in Wounds. n