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The effects of sound waves (extracorporeal shock waves) in musculoskeletal disorders. Biophysical analysis.

Georgi Raykov, Preslav Penev, Miroslav Raykov


Introduction: The sound wave is the basic physical activity that is applied in modern medicine by the name of Extracorporeal shock wave therapy since the end of the 20thcentury. Its popularity has increased throughout the years and has become more and more applicable in Urology (Lithotripsy) and Orthopaedics and traumatology (Orthotripsy). The shock wave produces either mechanical ef­fects and causes microfractures for stimulation of bone recreation, especially in cases with delayed bone union or a stimulation of the specific enzymes for neovascularization in cases with enthesopa­thies.

Materials and methods: A total of 2557 orthopaedic and trauma cases have been analyzed and treat­ed with Extracorporeal shock wave therapy in the Department of Orthopaedics and traumatology in Varna University of Medicine during the period of 2003-2017. There have been 255 cases with delayed or no union in diaphysial or methaphysial long bones, all of which have been treated with high ener­gy focused shock waves (2000 shock waves with rough power of about 1,3-2,0KW). Patients with en­thesopathies treated by radial shock wave therapy are 2002. The main problematic areas were shoul­der disturbances, Achilles` tendon pathologies, and foot and hip soft tissue disturbances.

Results: Many studies have analyzed the effect of the shock waves on the human body and have stat­ed successful treatment rates of 60-75% in bone consolidation after the application of focused sound wave therapy, and up to 90% in soft tissue disturbances after radial shock wave therapy.

Conclusion: The Extracorporeal Shock wave therapy is proven to be a highly efficient and safe meth­od of treatment in orthopaedics and traumatology. These facts, along with the method being afford­able for the patient, make it a first-choice treatment in many Orthopaedic and trauma cases.


sound wave; shock wave; trauma; treatment



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