Ultrasound device may improve bone healing

A recent report published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders shows how the use of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) in patients with tibial fractures may speed up the healing process and increase bone mineral density (BMD). This information may be beneficial to osteoporosis patients who suffer from painful bone fractures.

Jon E. Block, a consultant for the sponsor of the study, worked with a team of researchers from University Hospital Marburg and the University of Ulm in Germany, to test LIPUS in 51 patients and 50 controls who did not receive the treatment. Participants in this study had all sustained a tibial shaft fracture that showed inadequate progress toward healing.

The LIPUS device is comprised of a handheld control unit attached by wire to a small ultrasound emitter, which is placed over the fracture site for 20 minutes per day.

The results showed that the LIPUS group had an average of 34 percent greater BMD in the fracture area after 16 weeks when compared to a control group.

"These findings demonstrate significantly greater progress toward bone healing 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," Block wrote.
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