Ultrasound and shockwave therapy for acute fractures in adults

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This review highlights the limitations of the available evidence on therapeutic ultrasound for acute fractures in adults. Currently, the best assessment of the clinical effectiveness of low intensity ultrasound (LIPUS) for complete or stress fractures in adults does not support the routine use of this intervention in clinical practice.

The morbidity and socioeconomic costs of fractures are considerable. The length of time to healing is an important factor in determining a patient’s recovery after a fracture. This review assesses the effects of LIPUS, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFUS) and extracorporeal shockwave therapies (ECSW) as part of the treatment of acute fractures in adults. The studies included in the review generally assessed upper limb fractures (the tibia being the most investigated bone).

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