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SYMPOSIUM
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 121-126

The science of ultrasound therapy for fracture healing


Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65212, USA

Correspondence Address:
Gregory J Della Rocca
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Missouri, One Hospital Dr., MC213, DC053.00, Columbia, MO 65212
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.50845

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Fracture healing involves a complex interplay of cellular processes, culminating in bridging of a fracture gap with bone. Fracture healing can be compromised by numerous exogenous and endogenous patient factors, and intense research is currently going on to identify modalities that can increase the likelihood of successful healing. Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) has been proposed as a modality that may have a benefit for increasing reliable fracture healing as well as perhaps increasing the rate of fracture healing. We conducted a review to establish basic scince evidence of therapeutic role of lipus in fracture healing. An electronic search without language restrictions was accomplished of three databases (PubMed, Embase, Cinahl) for ultrasound-related research in osteocyte and chondrocyte cell culture and in animal fracture models, published from inception of the databases through December, 2008. Studies deemed to be most relevant were included in this review. Multiple in vitro and animal in vivo studies were identified. An extensive body of literature exists which delineates the mechanism of action for ultrasound on cellular and tissue signaling systems that may be related to fracture healing. Research on LIPUS in animal fracture models has demonstrated promising results for acceleration of fracture healing and for promotion of fracture healing in compromised tissue beds. A large body of cellular and animal research exists which reveals that LIPUS may be beneficial for accelerating normal fracture healing or for promoting fracture healing in compromised tissue beds. Further investigation of the effects of LIPUS in human fracture healing is warranted for this promising new therapy.


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