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Shockwave Therapy: A Non-Invasive Treatment for Stress Fractures

Shockwave Therapy: A Non-Invasive Treatment for Stress Fractures


Title of study: Current concepts of shockwave therapy in stress fractures

Authors: Carlos Leal, Cristina D’Agostino, Santiago Gomez Garcia, Arnold Fernandez

Stress fractures are a common condition among athletes, which can be caused by repetitive or excessive force applied to bones. Although most low-risk stress fractures can be treated with conservative measures, up to a third of athletes may not respond to these treatments and develop high-risk stress fractures. Surgical intervention may be necessary, but it is an invasive procedure with known risks.

Shockwave therapy, also known as ESWT, has been found to be effective in treating delayed unions and avascular necrosis by stimulating bone turnover, osteoblast stimulation, and neovascularization through mechanotransduction. Since 1999, shockwave therapy has been used to treat stress fractures with excellent results and no complications.

In this study, focused shockwave treatments were used in professional athletes and military personnel with a high rate of recovery, return to competition, and pain control. Shockwave therapy is recommended as the primary standard of care in low-risk patients with a poor response to conventional treatments.

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