High-Energy Shock Wave Treatment of Femoral Head Necrosis in Adults

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Adults with Stages I to III osteonecrosis of the femoral head present an overall therapeutic challenge. The objective of the current prospective study was to show the effectiveness of high-energy shock wave therapy in treatment of patients with Association Research Circulation Osseous Stage I to Stage III necrosis of the femoral head by assessing clinical and magnetic resonance imaging results. The current study presents the results of 22 patients with femoral head necrosis 1 year after shock wave treatment. The study population consisted of 10 women and 12 men with an average age of 54.9 years (± 12.3). The scores achieved on the visual pain analog scale decreased from 8.5 before treatment to 1.2 after 1 year. Simultaneously, the Harris hip score increased from 43.3 to 92 points. Magnetic resonance imaging visualization of a distinct zone of sclerosis around the necrotic area remaining after treatment with extracorporeal shock wave therapy indicated therapeutic failure. The results obtained so far with high-energy shock wave therapy in these patients suggest that this method may offer an alternative to invasive treatment modalities for femoral head necrosis. A noninvasive and moderately priced method then would be available for the treatment of femoral head necrosis in the early stages of the disease process.

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