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Regular Contributor
Posts: 247
Registered: ‎04-02-2013

EPAT Procedure for Heel Spurs

Was wondering if anyone has had this done? I have had a heel spur that acts up periodically, and right now is causing Achilles' tendon to be painful. Hoping it will get better with ice and NSAIDs as it usually does, since I can't do surgery. Podiatrist wants to try EPAT procedure , but insurance doesn't cover it , and is $600.00 and 6 weeks of treatment. Has anyone had this done, and did it help. Thank you, Susi.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,250
Registered: ‎06-15-2015

Re: EPAT Procedure for Heel Spurs

@Susic 

 

I have not heard of this procedure. Did your Podiatrist explain how it is done? Since you say "I can't do surgery", I am assuming this is some type of non-invasive procedure.

 

Never had that issue so can't speak from personal experience. Hope someone here is familiar with it.

 

 

hckynut(john)🥅🏒

hckynut(john)
Regular Contributor
Posts: 247
Registered: ‎04-02-2013

Re: EPAT Procedure for Heel Spurs

It is some sort of shock wave treatment that heals tissue, and I am not sure if it dissolves spur or not. The surgery is pretty bad, and no weight bearing for 6 weeks, and I would need to use Scooter device to get around.  I can't manage that. Might be worth it, if it works . Not sure why insurance doesn't cover it, if so successful. Was wondering if anyone had it done.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,779
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: EPAT Procedure for Heel Spurs

I would try anything & everything before I had surgery.

Try soaking your heel in epson salts. The magnesium in it should help dissolve the bone spur.

You could also buy some magnesium oil spray to apply to the area daily til gone. I used it when I thought I had a bone spur. It worked for me. First thought it was plantar fasciitis?

My AC guy said he had plantar fasciitis so he soaked his feet in apple cider vinegar til it went away.

You could try a castor oil pack on your ankle for pain relief it really helps. I just did this for my heel a few weeks back. I did not have any flannel at the time to make the pack so I massaged a lot of the castor oil on my ankle & wrapped my DPL therapy light pad around my ankle. It made it feel so much better. You can also wrap with some plastic & use a heating pad. 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 247
Registered: ‎04-02-2013

Re: EPAT Procedure for Heel Spurs

Thanks might try Magnesium/epson salts. I soak foot in ice bucket of water and it really helps, plus stretching exercises. I have history of plantar fasciitis in that foot , but now have Achilles tendinitis. It has gone away in past. Hoping it will this time. I pay a lot for insurance , so  don't really want to add another $600.00 if I can help it. Plus not sure it will work.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,680
Registered: ‎05-09-2014

Re: EPAT Procedure for Heel Spurs

This seems to be a very thorough address of everything you might want to know. I can't give any first hand experience. It does seem like EPAT treatments are effective. https://www.sctimes.com/story/money/2016/07/29/epat-helps-heel-spur-patients-avoid-knife/87455852/ 

 

here is more, with a photo of the machine 


https://www.pafootdoctors.com/our-specialties/heel-pain/epat-therapy 

 

 

Ultrasound and similar acoustic wave impulse treatment is commonly used to disintegrate kidney stones. I think it's very probable it will have success with heel spur growths. 

Wishing you luck and may you soon have pain-free feet. I would invest $600 for this treatment. I can't speak for your financial circumstances, but if you can afford it I think it is worth it. 

Regular Contributor
Posts: 247
Registered: ‎04-02-2013

Re: EPAT Procedure for Heel Spurs

Thank you gizmogal, will check it out. I read up on it, it always seems like a good idea, but was hoping someone that had it might give me their experience. I am retired and have Medicare and Blue Cross as secondary. Paying a lot for secondary, so try to leave it at that. See foot doctor in a couple of weeks, so will see how it goes.

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,259
Registered: ‎12-01-2012

Re: EPAT Procedure for Heel Spurs

I worked for a podiatrist for 19 years.  I had not heard of EPAT, but it sounds along the same line as what we called ESWT - extracorporeal shockwave therapy.

 

The idea behind it is that the shockwave will cause microscopic injury to the plantar fascia, and then that will heal the tears in the plantar fascia that is causing the pain.

 

This technology has been around for over 15 years.  The reason it is not covered by insurance is because there are no studies that show it is a successful treatment.

 

The thing to remember about podiatry is that it is not an AMA recognized specialty.  They are not MDs or DOs.  There are quite a few older podiatrists out there who never did a residency, but are still licensed to perform surgery.

 

SOMETIMES podiatrists are given to treatments for which there is no evidence or studies, but rather an off the books way to make money. I continue to follow news in podiatry, and for the last 15 years the field has continued to slide downhill.  It is very hard to make it in podiatry because MOST of what they do is not covered by insurance.  Again, why? 

 

Plantar fasciitis is very difficult to cure.  Nothing seems to really work permanently. 

 

 

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,259
Registered: ‎12-01-2012

Re: EPAT Procedure for Heel Spurs

And to clarify just a little more, shockwave therapy does not dissolve a heel spur, the bony protrusion that grows out to latch on to a torn plantar fascia.  The bone spur is not what is causing the pain, it is a torn fascia.

 

 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,175
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: EPAT Procedure for Heel Spurs


@Susic wrote:

Was wondering if anyone has had this done? I have had a heel spur that acts up periodically, and right now is causing Achilles' tendon to be painful. Hoping it will get better with ice and NSAIDs as it usually does, since I can't do surgery. Podiatrist wants to try EPAT procedure , but insurance doesn't cover it , and is $600.00 and 6 weeks of treatment. Has anyone had this done, and did it help. Thank you, Susi.


@Susic $600 in total or $600 per treatment?

 

My husband is going for physical therapy right now and the place he goes to does this EPAT treatment.

 

Now I don't know what they charge for the EPAT but the non-insurance charge they put into Medicare for a half hour of PT is $375 per visit!  Of course that's not what Medicare allows.   

 

I guess what I'm saying is be sure before you make your decision because Podiatrists like to get their hooks into you too.