EPAT: 13 FAQ's
EPAT is one of the most advanced non-surgical treatments for heel pain. Though it can also be used for many other ailments, it is most frequently used at Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Clinic in our heel pain protocol. High energy pulse waves stimulate your body to restart the natural healing process.
What is EPAT?
Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology is a highly effective, non invasive, in office modality used to treat heel pain, tendinitis, neuromas, shin splints and many other ailments.
How does EPAT work?
High energy acoustic pressure waves are delivered through the body on a focused pain site and are delivered through a small applicator. The pressure waves stimulate the normal healing cells. Your body has recognized the injury as "normal" and needs assistance to restart or accelerate the healing cascade.
Where is the treatment done and how long does it take?
The treatment is performed right in our office and take about 10 minutes per foot/site.
How many treatments are necessary?
Typically we do three treatments spread over a 2-3 week period. We then reevaluate in 3 weeks and occasionally an additional 1-2 treatments may be performed.
Is EPAT safe/FDA approved?
Yes, it is FDA approved and is safe for treatment of all adults and non-pregnant females. We do not treat women who are pregnant or immediately post-partum as it has not been tested. We also do not treat children in the region of open growth plates as the long term effect on growth plates is not known.
What can I expect during/after my treatment?
It feels like a little jackhammer or someone snapping a rubber band over and over. The treatment does cause a numbing effect to the area so it does not hurt or cause pain, just mild discomfort. The night of your treatment you may experience some pain, as we are increasing the inflammatory response, but this typically subsides by the next day.
What are the expected results?
Most people will experience pain relief after 3 treatments. Some lucky people experience relief after the first treatment, but this is not standard. Approximately 90% of patients, experience a significant reduction of pain after just 3 treatments.
Are there any post-procedure instructions?
The biggest restriction is no anti-inflammatory medications for 4 weeks post EPAT. We also recommend a 50% reduction in activity/exercise. This includes prescription medications you may have been prescribed as well as any over the counter meds such as Motrin, Advil, Aleve and aspirin.
Are there side effects?
Occasionally a patient may experience mild bruising post treatment, as well as a slight increase in pain. There are no permanent long term effects that have been reported.
Why do EPAT?
EPAT is a great next step if conservative care such as stretching, anti-inflammatories, night splints, and orthotics have not resolved the issue. In many patients it helps us avoid most costly and painful measures like surgery.
Does insurance cover EPAT?
No, unfortunately they do not, and there is no code to use to even submit the procedure to insurance. As we see with many advanced modalities, it just isn't a covered service. Our office can provide you a receipt as well as, chart noted and a Letter of Medical Necessity should you wish to pursue it with your insurance company or FSA.
How much does it cost?
We have a package rate that includes 3 treatments for $500 per site. Additional sites/sides are $250 each for the 1st 3 treatments. 3 weeks post treatment, you will return for a reevaluation with your doctor and this will be billed to your insurance company.
If more than 3 treatments are needed, they are performed at $100 per treatment.
Is there a place for more information?
You can visit the companies website www.curamedix.com
If you are experiencing heel pain and haven't been able to get it to go away, call our office and see if EPAT is right for you.