To examine the effect of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) on early-stage spondylolysis in young athletes.
A single outpatient orthopedic and sports clinic.
A total of 82 young athletes (80 boys and 2 girls; mean age, 14.8 years; range, 10-18 years) with early-stage lumbar spondylolysis were enrolled in this study. All patients were examined by plain radiography and magnetic resonance imaging.
Patients received either standard conservative treatment combined with LIPUS (n = 35) or without LIPUS (n = 47), according to the sequence of admission. The standard conservative treatment included thoracolumbosacral brace, sports modification, and therapeutic exercise.
The time required to return to previous sports activities was analyzed by using Kaplan–Meier methods with the log-rank test.
The baseline parameters of both groups were not significantly different. The median time to return to previous sports activities was 61 days [95% confidence interval (CI): 58-69 days] in the group treated with LIPUS, which was significantly shorter than that of the group treated without LIPUS (167 days, 95% CI: 135-263 days; P < 0.01).
These results suggest that LIPUS combined with conservative treatment for early-stage lumbar spondylolysis in young athletes could be a useful therapy for quick return to playing sports.
Departments of *Rehabilitation; and
†Orthopedic Surgery, Takiuchi Orthopedic and Sports Clinic, Sapporo, Japan; and
‡Department of Physical Therapy, Sapporo Medical University School of Health Sciences, Sapporo, Japan.
Corresponding Author: Masahiro Tsukada, PT, Department of Rehabilitation, Takiuchi Orthopedic and Sports Clinic, Sapporo Hokushin Building 2F, 11 South-1, West-6, Chuo-ku, Sapporo 060-0061, Japan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors report no conflicts of interest.
Research Ethics Committee of the Society of Physical Therapy Science: SPTS2016008.
Received April 12, 2017
Accepted August 24, 2017