Intense pulsed light treatment of chronic mid-body Achilles tendinopathy

A double blind randomised placebo-controlled trial

A. M. Hutchison, I. Pallister, R. M. Evans, O. Bodger, C. J. Topliss, P. Williams, D. J. Beard


We conducted a randomised controlled trial to determine whether active intense pulsed light (IPL) is an effective treatment for patients with chronic mid-body Achilles tendinopathy. A total of 47 patients were randomly assigned to three weekly therapeutic or placebo IPL treatments. The primary outcome measure was the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment – Achilles (VISA-A) score. Secondary outcomes were a visual analogue scale for pain (VAS) and the Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS). Outcomes were recorded at baseline, six weeks and 12 weeks following treatment. Ultrasound assessment of the thickness of the tendon and neovascularisation were also recorded before and after treatment.

There was no significant difference between the groups for any of the outcome scores or ultrasound measurements by 12 weeks, showing no measurable benefit from treatment with IPL in patients with Achilles tendinopathy.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2013;95-B:504–9.


  • This study was sponsored by Cyden Ltd and the Intense Pulsed Light system was provided by Cyden Ltd.

    No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.

    This article was primary edited by D. Rowley and first-proof edited by J. Scott.

  • Received August 7, 2012.
  • Accepted January 11, 2013.
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