We sought to evaluate the efficacy of daily pulsed low intensity ultrasound (LIUS) with early return to activities for the treatment of lower extremity stress fractures. Eight patients (2 males, 6 females) with radiographic and bone scan confirmed tibial stress fractures participated in this study. Additionally, a case report of a tarsal navicular stress fracture is described. All patients except one were involved in athletics. Prior to the study, subjects completed a 5 question, 10 cm visual analog scale (VAS) regarding pain level (10 = extreme pain, 1 = no pain) and were assessed for functional performance. Subjects received 20-minute LIUS treatments 5 times a week for 4 weeks. Subjects maintained all functional activities during the treatment period. Seven patients with posterior-medial stress fractures participated without a brace. Subjects were re-tested after 4 weeks of treatment. Mann-Whitney U tests (VAS data) and paired t-tests (functional tests) assessed statistical significance (p<0.05). Although the intensity of practice was diminished in some instances, no time off from competitive sports was prescribed for the patients with the tibial stress fractures. The patient with the anterior tibial stress fracture underwent tibial intramedullary nailing at the conclusion of a season of play. In this uncontrolled experience, treatment of tibial stress fractures with daily pulsed LIUS was effective in pain relief and early return to vigorous activity without bracing for the patients with posterior-medial stress fractures.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||The Iowa orthopaedic journal|
|State||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (all)