Radial Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy in a Person With Advanced Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head

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Abstract

This case report describes the first patient with avascular necrosis of the femoral head of Association Research Circulation Osseous stage IV, treated with radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy. By contrast, previous studies demonstrated the efficacy of a single treatment of focused extracorporeal shock wave therapy in improving pain and Harris Hip Scale in patients with avascular necrosis of the femoral head of Association Research Circulation Osseous stage I to III. The affected hip was treated with 6000 impulses of radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy at 10 Hz and an intensity ranging from 2.5 to 4.0 bar at 7-day intervals for 24 mos. The Harris Hip Scale values were 33, 43, 56, 77, 81, 88, and 92 at baseline and 1, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 mos, respectively. The radiographs showed that the subluxation of the right hip was slightly aggravated. Joint effusion was reduced, bone marrow edema disappeared, the density became more uniform, and the gluteal muscles were more developed based on magnetic resonance imaging. Increased tracer uptake was evident along the joint margin and superolateral aspect of the head both before and after radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy. This case report demonstrates the feasibility of long-term radial extracorporeal shock wave therapy in Association Research Circulation Osseous stage IV patients.

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