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Shockwave Therapy Shows Success in Treating Nonunion of the Tibia

Shockwave Therapy Shows Success in Treating Nonunion of the Tibia

Title: Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy for Nonunion of the Tibia

Author: Eric A Elster, Alexander Stojadinovic, Jonathan Forsberg, Scott Shawen, Romney C Andersen, Wolfgang Schaden

Delayed and nonunion of the tibia are common orthopedic conditions that may have variable treatment outcomes. The study evaluates the feasibility and success rates of using extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in treating tibia nonunion. The study involved 192 patients who were treated with ESWT coupled with immobilization, external fixation or ESWT alone, and factors associated with ESWT success or failure were evaluated. At the end of the study, 138 of 172 (80.2%) patients had demonstrated complete fracture healing, and the mean time to complete healing was 4.8+/-4.0 months. The number of shock wave treatments, number of pulses delivered, and orthopedic operations were found to be significantly associated with complete bone healing. Patients who required multiple shock wave treatments had a lower likelihood of fracture healing, likely because they had more prior orthopedic procedures. Overall, the study found that ESWT is a feasible treatment option for tibia nonunion, with a high success rate for complete fracture healing.

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