Pulsed ultrasound stimulation beginning 7 days after surgery may aid healing: 3 study insights

Written by Jessica Kim Cohen | October 12, 2016 | Print  |

A study in American Journal of Sports Medicine found that starting a form of biophysical therapy seven days after surgery may aid in tendon-bone healing.

The researchers conducted a laboratory study using 112 mature rabbits, all of which underwent partial patellectomy. The rabbits received daily low-intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulation at different stages of the postoperative inflammatory phase: beginning immediately after surgery, beginning on postoperative day seven or beginning on postoperative day 14. The control group received daily mock sonication.

 

Here's what you need to know:

 

1. The patella–patellar tendon junction significantly improved for all groups treated with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulation. These groups showed improvement in both the fibrocartilage layer and in newly formed bone.

 

2. However, the group that began low-intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulation immediately after surgery showed a significant increase in inflammation, compared with the other groups.

 

3. The group that began low-intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulation on postoperative day seven showed the highest levels of strength and stiffness, with more bone volume and more bone mineral content than the other groups.

 

The researchers concluded that low-intensity pulsed ultrasound stimulation initiated on postoperative day seven had the most promising impact on tendon-bone healing.

 

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