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Ultrasound Med Biol. 2016 Jan;42(1):185-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2015.07.028. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy: An Emerging Treatment Modality for Retracting Scars of the Hands.

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Department of Medical Sciences, Oral and Biotechnology, "G. D'Annunzio" University, Chieti, Italy. Electronic address:
Department of Dermatology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, "Sapienza" University, Policlinico Umberto I, Rome, Italy.
School of Specialties in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation "G. D'Annunzio" University, Chieti, Italy.
Department of Medicine and Science of Aging, "G. D'Annunzio" University, Chieti, Italy.


Prolonged and abnormal scarring after trauma, burns and surgical procedures often results in a pathologic scar. We evaluated the efficacy of unfocused shock wave treatment, alone or in combination with manual therapy, on retracting scars on the hands. Scar appearance was assessed by means of the modified Vancouver Scar Scale; functional hand mobility was evaluated using a range-of-motion scale, whereas a visual analogue score was implemented for detecting any improvements in referred pain. Additionally, biopsy specimens were collected for clinico-pathologic correlation. For each active treatment group, statistically significant improvements in modified Vancouver Scar Scale were recorded as early as five treatment sessions and confirmed 2 wk after the last treatment session. Analogous results were observed when assessing pain and range of movement. Histopathological examination revealed significant increases in dermal fibroblasts in each active treatment group, as well as in neoangiogenetic response and type-I collagen concentration.


Collagen; ESWT; Histopathologic features; Regeneration; Resolution; Retracting scar; Scarring

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