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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2004 Jun;44(2):173-8.

Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound in the conservative treatment of pseudoarthrosis.

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Institute of Movement Sciences, University of Rome, Rome, Italy.



The management of pseudarthrosis remains a challenge. Several in vivo animal and controlled clinical studies have demonstrated that low-intensity pulsed ultrasound can influence fracture healing.


A prospective longitudinal design was used. Fifteen patients (12 males and 3 females; mean age 35.5+/-12.9, range 18 to 60), all amateur athletes, under treatment for pseudarthrosis at different sites (average fracture age: of 336.6+/-60.1 days) were treated with a single 20 min daily application of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (frequency 1.5 MHz and intensity 30 mW/cm2). All patients underwent clinical examination and plain radiography at the beginning of treatment and were followed up clinically and radiographically at 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24 weeks until the fracture healed.


All fractures healed with a mean healing time of 94.7+/-43.8 days.


Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound is effective in the management of long standing fracture non-unions. Prospective randomized studies are needed to confirm the value of this modality of treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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