Low intensity pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS) – How can it benefit Physio’s and patients?
Tim Watson and his research buddies have been hard at work once again providing us with an ever-growing evidence-base for electrotherapy. He offers some interesting incites into electrotherapy products currently available to treat fractures and the evidence behind them.
Recent NICE guidelines have finally been published in Jan 2013 supporting the use of Exogen, which is one product used in the treatment of long bone fractures and non union fractures.
What is EXOGEN?
Exogen is a device that delivers low intensity pulsed ultrasound. It is a mobile device that the patient uses daily to self administered treatment. It has been shown to be effective to treat long bone fractures or those with non union that have failed to heal (over 9 months).
It has also been shown to accelerate healing in new long bone fractures. The transducer is simply placed along fracture site (or in hole/holder cut out of the cast if the patient is immobilized).
What makes Exogen different from ultrasound you use in clinic?
- It offers a much lower dose than is available on most machines used in clinic.
- Read this easy to digest article from electrotherapy.org which explains the differences and other machines available on the market.
How how is been used so far?
So what does it mean for us as clinicans?
- Reduced cost to the NHS by avoiding surgery that may otherwise be necessary in non union cases.
- Edge as a private practitioner who can offer this service to athletes.
- Improve customer satisfaction by getting them back to fitness/sport/work/playing sooner.
- Reduced cost to the government/employers in time off work.
- NICE Guidelines – EXOGEN ultrasound bone healing system for long bone fractures with non-union or delayed healing (2013)
- Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS) ( An analysis of Exogen and other products in the treatment of fractures written by Tim Watson in November 2012)