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Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2007 Feb;127(2):137-42. Epub 2006 Oct 13.

The effects of extracorporeal shockwave on acute high-energy long bone fractures of the lower extremity.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of Medicine or Chang Gung Institute of Technology, 123 Ta-Pei Road, Niao-Sung Hsiang, Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan.



High-energy long bone fractures of the lower extremity are at risk of poor fracture healing and high rate of non-union. Extracorporeal shockwave was shown effective to heal non-union of long bone fracture. However, the effect of shockwave on acute fractures is unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of shockwave on acute high-energy fractures of the lower extremity.


Between January and October 2004, 56 patients with 59 acute high-energy fractures were enrolled in this study. Patients were randomly divided into two groups with 28 patients with 28 fractures in the study group and 28 patients with 31 fractures in the control group. Both groups showed similar age, gender, type of fracture and follow-up time. Patients in the study group received open reduction and internal fixation and shockwave treatment immediately after surgery on odd-numbered days of the week, whereas, patients in the control group received open reduction and internal fixation without shockwave treatment on even-numbered days of the week. Postoperative managements were similarly performed in both groups including crutch walking with non-weight bearing on the affected limb until fracture healing shown on radiographs. The evaluation parameters included clinical assessments of pain score and weight bearing status of the affected leg and serial radiographs at 3, 6 and 12 months. The primary end-point is the rate of non-union at 12 months, and the secondary end point is the rate of fracture healing at 3, 6 and 12 months.


At 12 months, the rate of non-union was 11% for the study group versus 20% for the control group (P < 0.001). Significantly, better rate of fracture healing was noted in the study group than the control group at 3, 6 and 12 months (P < 0.001).


Extracorporeal shockwave is effective on promoting fracture healing and decreasing the rate of non-union in acute high-energy fractures of the lower extremity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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