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Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2003 Sep;2(3):152-7.

Therapeutic ultrasound in lower extremity wound management.

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Institute of Physiotherapy, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena.


In medical practice, ultrasound (US) is used for diagnosis and therapy. High-frequency (1-4 MHz) and low-frequency (20-120 KHz) therapeutic US are relevant to wound healing. The heating effects of high-frequency US are important, whereas the mechanical effects of low-frequency US must be considered. The physiological effects of low-frequency US include metabolic enhancement, perfusion, wound cleansing, and the acceleration of wound granulation. The therapeutic efficacy of US depends on dose (W/cm (2) time)and dosage (frequency of application, series). At adequate doses, high-frequency and low-frequency therapeutic US induce in vitro cell proliferation; protein synthesis; and the production of cytokines by fibroblasts, osteoblasts, and monocytes. The mechanical effects of low-frequency US cause transient cavitation in wound surfaces for soft and smooth wound cleaning, ulcer debridement, and the stimulation of granulation. These effects can be determined in clinical studies, though the quality of the studies done so far and of the evidence of the usefulness of US is poor. Nevertheless, high-frequency and low-frequency US may be reasonable options in the management of chronic wounds.


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