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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2004 Mar;30(3):389-95.

Complex tibial fracture outcomes following treatment with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China.


A clinical study was conducted to investigate the effect of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (US) stimulation (LIPUS) on the healing of complex tibial fractures. Thirty complex tibial fractures were randomly assigned to the treatment with LIPUS (n = 16) or by a dummy machine (sham-exposed: n = 14). The fractures were immobilized by either internal or external fixations according to the clinical indications. LIPUS was given 20 min/day for 90 days. Fracture healing was monitored by clinical, radiological, densitometric and biochemical assessments. The LIPUS-treated group showed statistically significantly better healing, as demonstrated by all assessments. Complications were minimal in the LIPUS group. There were two cases of delayed union, with one in each group. There were two cases of infection in the control group. The delayed-union cases were subsequently treated by LIPUS and the infection cases were treated with standard protocol. Fracture healing in these patients was again treated by LIPUS.

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