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The use of extracorporeal shock waves in the treatment of delayed unions and nonunions

West, Derek La; Hawkins, Bryan Jb; Langerman, Richard Jc

doi: 10.1097/BCO.0b013e3282f54d84

This study highlights the emerging use of extracorporeal shock waves to treat nonunions and delayed unions. An overview of previous work performed in this area is presented. A feasibility study conducted by OssaTron (HealthTronics) is also reviewed, showing the results of high-energy extracorporeal shock wave for the treatment of nonunions in the proximal fifth metatarsal. Preliminary results support its effectiveness as a safe and less invasive means of treating difficult cases of nonunions or delayed unions. More research is needed to demonstrate the physiology of bone-healing induced by the use of shock wave therapy.

aOklahoma Center for Orthopedic Excellence & Sports Medicine Oklahoma City, OK, USA

bCentral States Orthopedic Specialists Tulsa, OK, USA

cSouthwest Orthopaedic and Reconstructive Specialist Oklahoma City, OK, USA.

Correspondence to: D.L. West, DO, Oklahoma Center for Orthopedic Excellence & Sports Medicine, Suite A, 1230 SW 89th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73139, USA. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.