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Pseudarthrosis Shockwave Treatment.

Pseudarthrosis Shockwave Treatment

Pseudarthrosis (or “non-union”) is the movement of a bone at the location of a fracture resulting from inadequate healing of the fracture.

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Shockwave Therapy & Pseudarthrosis

Pseudarthrosis comes from the ancient Greek words, pseudes for false and arthros for joint. For over 20-years, shock wave treatment has been successfully used for the treatment of non-healing, or poorly healing, fractures in medical centre’s worldwide.

Advantages of Shockwave therapy for pseudarthrosis are that it is non-invasive, requires only short treatment times (each session should take no more than 30-minutes) and have minor side effects.

According to a study by the International Society for Medical Shockwave Treatment shock wave therapy reduces suffering and recovery time in pseudarthrosis.

This is an extract from their study:

“Applying shock wave therapy saves the patients not only from elaborate surgery (extensive dissection of the non-union, removing scar tissue through milling and chiselling as well as bone transplants, mostly from the pelvic bone), but also from long hospital stays and possible following complications. While after surgery 10 to 30% of the cases develop serious complications, with shock wave treatment only minor side-effects, if any, were observed (superficial swellings and superficial hematomas with no clinical impact). The first randomized controlled trial comparing surgical therapy to shockwave treatment for pseudarthrosis of long bones published in the world leading U.S. Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (JBJS) proved:

  • ESWT and surgery show practically the same success rates
  • Recovery was significantly accelerated in the patients receiving ESWT
  • Complications were significantly reduced in the patients receiving ESWT”

In a recent study undertaken in 2017 by Everding et al, Extracorporeal shock wave therapy for the treatment of pseudarthrosis : New experiences with an old technology  they concluded that, “ESWT as an important treatment option for fracture non-union in our clinic. Considering the selection of patients in this study with a high mean time from injury to ESWT and multiple prior operations, the fracture healing rate of 73 % after ESWT is comparable with operative healing rates of non-union.”

In the most recent study by Kertzman et al, Does radial shock wave therapy works in pseudarthrosis? Prospective analysis of forty-four patients published in October 2020, the authors concluded that, “Treatment of pseudarthrosis in superficial bones with radial shock waves is effective and safe.”

The researchers treatment consisted of three sessions with weekly intervals. We have also found that this is effective for most of our patients, though sometimes an extra week of treatment can be beneficial.

We now use castor oil, rather than gel or petroleum jelly as the medium between the shockwave equipment and the patient for many of our shockwave procedures. We have found that the little pain that our patients feel is reduced when we use castor oil, and we believe that the shockwaves reach the areas needing treatment more effectively. You can find out more about this, if you wish, by reading our news item Castor Oil versus Gel in Shockwave Therapy.

To find out more about how we can help you, or to book a free consultation or an appointment, contact us now, or better still call us right away to discuss your problem Tel: 020 8549 6666