Ultrasound device improves poor bone healing

Oct 08, 2010

Ultrasound can speed the healing of fractures. A randomized controlled trial reported in the open access journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders has found that the use of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) in patients with tibial fractures which showed inadequate progress toward healing resulted in 34% greater bone mineral density (BMD) in the fracture area after 16 weeks than use of a sham device.

Jon E. Block, Ph.D. worked with a team of researchers from University Hospital Marburg and the University of Ulm, Germany, to test LIPUS in 51 patients and 50 controls. Their research was supported by Smith and Nephew, a manufacturer of ultrasound devices.

Block, a consultant for the sponsor, said, "These findings demonstrate significantly greater progress toward bone after LIPUS treatment compared to no LIPUS treatment in subjects with established delayed unions of the tibia. This should assist in establishing this non-invasive modality as a viable, effective treatment option for patients suffering these injuries".

The LIPUS device comprises a handheld control unit attached by wire to a small emitter, which is placed over the fracture site for 20 minutes per day. Patients in this study had all sustained a tibial shaft fracture that subsequently showed inadequate progress toward healing and were randomized to receive either a functional or non-functional device. The estimated increase in BMD among subjects randomized to active LIPUS treatment was 34% larger. According to Block, "This is the first study to offer Level-I evidence of this effect in a single fracture type".

Explore further: New hope for rare disease drug development

More information: Improved healing response in delayed unions of the tibia with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound: results of a randomized sham-controlled trial, Markus D Schofer, Jon E Block, Julia Aigner and Andreas Schmelz, BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (in press), www.biomedcentral.com/bmcmusculoskeletdisord/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cell injections accelerate fracture healing

Feb 12, 2009

Long bone fractures heal faster after injections of bone-building cells. Research published in the open access journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders has shown that osteoblast cells cultured from a patient's own bone marrow ...

Lithium and bone healing

Jul 30, 2007

Researchers have described a novel molecular pathway that may have a critical role in bone healing and have suggested that lithium, which affects this pathway, has the potential to improve fracture healing.

Cholesterol-lowering drug boosts bone repair

Jul 31, 2008

Lovastatin, a drug used to lower cholesterol and help prevent cardiovascular disease, has been shown to improve bone healing in an animal model of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). The research, reported today in the open access ...

Models suggest treatments for fractures that won't heal

Sep 02, 2010

New models, reinforced by in vivo experimentation, show why 5-10% of bone fractures don't heal properly, and how these cases may be treated to restart the healing process. Results of the model, published September 2 in the ...

HIV patients at greater risk for bone fractures

Aug 28, 2008

HIV-infected patients have a higher prevalence of fractures than non HIV-infected patients, across both genders and critical fracture sites according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of ...

Recommended for you

New hope for rare disease drug development

3 hours ago

Using combinations of well-known approved drugs has for the first time been shown to be potentially safe in treating a rare disease, according to the results of a clinical trial published in the open access Orphanet Journal of ...

Three weeks since last Ebola case in Mali: WHO

6 hours ago

Mali has not had a case of Ebola for three weeks, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, completing one of the two incubation periods the country needs to be declared free of the virus.

Migraine may double risk for facial paralysis

6 hours ago

Migraine headache may double the risk of a nervous system condition that causes facial paralysis, called Bell's palsy, according to a new study published in the December 17, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journa ...

Anti-diabetic drug springs new hope for tuberculosis patients

13 hours ago

A more effective treatment for tuberculosis (TB) could soon be available as scientists have discovered that Metformin (MET), a drug for treating diabetes, can also be used to boost the efficacy of TB medication without inducing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.