Low intensity ultrasound treatment for acceleration of bone fracture healing - Exogen (TM) bone growth stimulator

Medical Services Advisory Committee
Record ID 32002000523
Authors' objectives:

This report summarises the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of Exogen (TM) bone growth stimulator, a low-intensity ultrasound treatment (LIUS) for the acceleration of bone healing, on the basis of the currently available evidence.

Authors' results and conclusions: On the basis of the evidence currently available, it is not possible to conclude that LIUS is consistently more efficacious than other treatments of fresh fractures. We identified only two high quality, randomised, placebo-controlled studies conducted in distal radius and tibial fractures, respectively. The results of these studies are contradictory. With respect to the treatment of fractures exhibiting non-union, only poorly controlled patient registry or case series data are currently available. It is concluded that this represents minimally acceptable, low-level evidence to support the efficacy of LIUS for treatment of non-unions. This conclusion is restricted to patients with radiologically confirmed fracture non-union who have failed previous treatment. Importantly, this conclusion is made only in comparison with no further treatment, which is an inappropriate comparator in the Australian setting. It is therefore not possible to evaluate comparative effectiveness against current Australian treatments of fracture non-union.
Authors' recommendations: MSAC recommended that on the basis of the evidence available on low intensity ultrasound treatment for acceleration of bone fracture healing, public funding should not be supported for this procedure.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 2001
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Australia
MeSH Terms
  • Fracture Healing
  • Ultrasonic Therapy
Organisation Name: Medical Services Advisory Committee
Contact Address: MSAC (MDP 107), GPO Box 9848, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia. Tel: +61 2 6289 6811; Fax: +61 2 6289 8799.
Contact Name: msac.secretariat@health.gov.au
Contact Email: msac.secretariat@health.gov.au
Copyright: Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.