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Unfocused Shock Wave Therapy Shows Promise for Osteoporosis Treatment

Unfocused Shock Wave Therapy Shows Promise for Osteoporosis Treatment


Title: Unfocused extracorporeal shock wave therapy as potential treatment for osteoporosis

Authors: Olav P van der Jagt, Jacqueline C van der Linden, Wolfgang Schaden, Hans T van Schie, Tom M Piscaer, Jan A N Verhaar, Harrie Weinans, Jan H Waarsing

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) has shown potential as a treatment for osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones. In this study, the effects of unfocused ESWT on bone architecture and fracture healing were examined in rats.

The researchers used in vivo micro-computed tomography (CT) scanning to analyze the bone dynamics of ESWT-treated and untreated rat tibiae. The results showed that a single treatment of unfocused ESWT led to a higher trabecular bone volume fraction (BV/TV) in the treated legs compared to the untreated control legs. At 3 weeks after ESWT, the BV/TV was 110% of the baseline in treated legs, compared to 101% in the control legs. Similarly, at 7 weeks after ESWT, the BV/TV was 105% in treated legs versus 95% in control legs.

In rats with osteoporosis induced by ovariectomy, the shock wave treatment resulted in a decrease in bone loss. At 7 weeks, the BV/TV in treated legs was 50% of the baseline, while in the control legs it was 35%.

However, the study did not find any influence of ESWT on acute fracture healing.

These findings suggest that unfocused shock wave therapy has the potential to positively impact bone microarchitecture and may be a useful treatment approach for osteopenia and osteoporosis. ESWT could potentially help prevent further bone loss and improve bone density in individuals with these conditions. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms of action and optimize the use of ESWT for osteoporosis treatment.

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