Title: Extracorporeal shock waves, a new non-surgical method to treat severe burns
Authors: Anna Arno, Oscar Garcia-Algar, Izaro Hernan, J Sancho, A Acosta, Juan Barret
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) has been widely used in urology and orthopaedic surgery due to its ability to enhance tissue perfusion, stimulate growth factors, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. However, its potential benefits in burn management have been relatively unexplored. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of ESWT on deep partial/full thickness burns in patients treated at an emergency burn unit. Fifteen patients with burns covering less than 5% of their total body surface area were enrolled and received two ESWT sessions on the third and fifth day after injury, with laser Doppler imaging used to assess tissue perfusion before each session. The results showed that 80% of the treated burns healed without complications within three weeks. Only 15% of cases required surgical intervention and grafting, while 5% developed hypertrophic scarring. Notably, a single ESWT session significantly improved tissue perfusion, as observed in the laser Doppler imaging images. This study highlights the potential of extracorporeal shock wave therapy as a non-invasive, safe, and cost-effective approach for deep partial/full thickness burn wounds. By potentially reducing the need for surgery, ESWT may also minimize patient morbidity. Overall, these findings underscore the promising role of shockwave therapy in accelerating the healing process of burn wounds, offering a potential new avenue for improved burn care.
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