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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
7-Oct-2010

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Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-020-319-22165
BioMed Central
@biomedcentral

Ultrasound device improves poor bone healing

Ultrasound can speed the healing of fractures. A randomized controlled trial reported in the open access journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders has found that the use of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) in patients with tibial fractures which showed inadequate progress toward healing resulted in 34% greater bone mineral density (BMD) in the fracture area after 16 weeks than use of a sham device.

Jon E. Block, Ph.D. worked with a team of researchers from University Hospital Marburg and the University of Ulm, Germany, to test LIPUS in 51 patients and 50 controls. Their research was supported by Smith and Nephew, a manufacturer of ultrasound devices. Block, a consultant for the sponsor, said, "These findings demonstrate significantly greater progress toward bone healing after LIPUS treatment compared to no LIPUS treatment in subjects with established delayed unions of the tibia. This should assist in establishing this non-invasive modality as a viable, effective treatment option for patients suffering these injuries".

The LIPUS device comprises a handheld control unit attached by wire to a small ultrasound emitter, which is placed over the fracture site for 20 minutes per day. Patients in this study had all sustained a tibial shaft fracture that subsequently showed inadequate progress toward healing and were randomized to receive either a functional or non-functional device. The estimated increase in BMD among subjects randomized to active LIPUS treatment was 34% larger. According to Block, "This is the first study to offer Level-I evidence of this effect in a single fracture type".

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Notes to Editors

1. Improved healing response in delayed unions of the tibia with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound: results of a randomized sham-controlled trial
Markus D Schofer, Jon E Block, Julia Aigner and Andreas Schmelz
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (in press)

During embargo, article available here: http://www.biomedcentral.com/imedia/9464881183921728_article.pdf?random=472761

After the embargo, article available at the journal website: http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcmusculoskeletdisord/

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.

Article citation and URL available on request at press@biomedcentral.com on the day of publication.

2. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in all aspects of the prevention, diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal and associated disorders, as well as related molecular genetics, pathophysiology, and epidemiology. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders (ISSN 1471-2474) is indexed/tracked/covered by PubMed, MEDLINE, CAS, EMBASE, Scopus, Current Contents, CABI, Thomson Reuters (ISI) and Google Scholar.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.



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