Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

The effects of low-intensity ultrasound in bioabsorbable self-reinforced poly-L-lactide -fixed cancellous bone fracture

Lauri Handolin

Doctoral dissertation, April 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine and University of Helsinki, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology.

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of low-intensity ultrasound on bioabsorbable self-reinforced poly-L-lactide (SR-PLLA) screws and on fracture healing after SR-PLLA device fixation in experimental and clinical cancellous bone fracture. In the first experimental study, the assessment of the mechanical strengths of the SR-PLLA screws was performed after 12 weeks of daily 20-minute ultrasound exposure in vitro. In the second experimental study, 32 male Wistar rats with an experimental distal femur osteotomy fixed with an SR-PLLA rod were exposed for daily low-intensity ultrasound treatment for 21 days. The effects on the healing bone were assessed.

The clinical studies consist of three prospective, randomized, and placebo-controlled series of dislocated lateral malleolar fractures fixed with one SR-PLLA screw. The total number of the patients in these series was 52. Half of the patients were provided randomly with a sham ultrasound device. The patients underwent ultrasound therapy 20 minutes daily for six weeks. Radiological bone healing was assessed both by radiographs at two, six, nine, and 12 weeks and by multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) scans at two weeks, nine weeks, and 18 months. Bone mineral density was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The clinical outcome was assessed by both Olerud-Molander scoring and clinical examination of the ankle.

Low-intensity ultrasound had no effects on the mechanical properties and degradation behaviour of the SR-PLLA screws in vitro. There were no obvious signs of low-intensity ultrasound-induced enhancement in the bone healing in SR-PLLA-rod-fixed metaphyseal distal femur osteotomy in rats. The biocompatibility of low-intensity ultrasound treatment and SR-PLLA was found to be good. In the clinical series low-intensity ultrasound was observed to have no obvious effects on the bone mineral density of the fractured lateral malleolus. There were no obvious differences in the radiological bone healing times of the SR-PLLA-screw-fixed lateral malleolar fractures after low-intensity ultrasound treatment. Low-intensity ultrasound did not have any effects on radiological bone morphology, bone mineral density or clinical outcome 18 months after the injury.

There were no obvious findings in the present study to support the hypothesis that low-intensity pulsed ultrasound enhances bone healing in SR-PLLA-rod-fixed experimental metaphyseal distal femur osteotomy in rats or in clinical SR-PLLA-screw-fixed lateral malleolar fractures. It is important to limit the conclusions of the present set of studies only to lateral malleolar fractures fixed with an SR-PLLA screw.

The title page of the publication

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Last updated 18.04.2006

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