Successful treatment of nonunion in severe finger injury with low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS): a case report
Department of Trauma, Plastic & Hand Surgery, University Medical Center Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:209 doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-209Published: 18 July 2012
Severe injuries of the hand or single fingers require immediate treatment but surgical fixation methods are limited depending on soft tissue damage. Thus, it is very common that severe soft tissue damage along with poor osteosynthetic bone fixation results in a delayed healing process or nonunion. Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) has been proven to stimulate bone formation in in vitro studies and also to significantly accelerate nonunion healing in animal studies and clinical trials but to date there are no data with respect to nonunion in phalanx fracture.
We report a case in which we successfully used LIPUS in a 19-year-old Caucasian man with a nonunion of his ring finger after injury and first treatment with K-wire osteosynthesis.
We recommend that LIPUS be considered as an option to treat nonunions in fractures of the hand, especially because it is a soft tissue conserving method with a good functional result.