Acceleration of Tibial Fracture-Healing by Non-Invasive, Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound.


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Abstract

Sixty-seven closed or grade-I open fractures of the tibial shaft were examined in a prospective, randomized, double-blind evaluation of use of a new ultrasound stimulating device as an adjunct to conventional treatment with a cast. Thirty-three fractures were treated with the active device and thirty-four, with a placebo control device. At the end of the treatment, there was a statistically significant decrease in the time to clinical healing (86 +-\5.8 days in the active-treatment group compared with 114 +-\10.4 days in the control group) (p = 0.01) and also a significant decrease in the time to over-all (clinical and radiographic) healing (96 +-\4.9 days in the active-treatment group compared with 154 +-\13.7 days in the control group) (p = 0.0001). The patients' compliance with the use of the device was excellent, and there were no serious complications related to its use. This study confirms earlier animal and clinical studies that demonstrated the efficacy of low-intensity ultrasound stimulation in the acceleration of the normal fracture-repair process.

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