The Effects of Three and Six Sessions of Low Energy Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy on Graft Incorporation and Knee Functions Post Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
Introduction: One session of high energy extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) was found to improve the healing of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) after reconstruction in animal and human studies. This study investigated the effects of three and six sessions of low energy ESWT on graft incorporation and knee functions post ACL reconstruction in humans.
Materials and methods: Thirty participants with ACL injuries were recruited and assigned equally into three groups with 10 participants per group (n=10). Participants in the control group received physiotherapy alone without low energy ESWT. Participants in the 3ESWT group underwent three sessions of low energy ESWT (one session per week) combined with physiotherapy, and participants in the 6ESWT group received six sessions of low energy ESWT (one session per week) combined with physiotherapy. However, five participants were lost to follow-up. Evaluations of graft incorporation of the tibial tunnel using magnetic resonance (MRI) and Lysholm score were carried out before ACL reconstruction and after six months post ACL reconstruction.
Results: The number of grafts with partial incorporation in the tibia tunnel in 6ESWT was significantly higher compared with the number of grafts with non-incorporation at six months post-operatively, X2 (1, N=9) =5.44, p =0.02. However, there was no significant difference between frequencies of graft incorporation in tibia tunnel in the control and 3ESWT groups, X2 (1, N=7) =3.57, p =0.06 and X2 (1, N=9) =2.78, p =0.10, respectively at 6 months postoperatively. Lysholm scores were significantly higher at 6 months post ACL reconstruction compared to the baseline value for each group (p<0.002, respectively). However, there was no significant difference in the Lysholm score between each group (F = 2.798, p = 0.083).
Conclusions: Six sessions of low energy ESWT improved graft incorporation in the tibial tunnel. Both three and six sessions of low energy of ESWT does not affect the knee function score at six months post ACL reconstruction.
Abstract | Reference