Indexed on: 13 Oct '16Published on: 11 Oct '16Published in: Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology
Chronic soft tissue wounds of the lower limbs are debilitating, painful and often unresponsive to advanced dressing treatments. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) could represent an alternative treatment. Ten patients with chronic soft tissue wounds of the legs, unresponsive to advanced dressing treatments for more than 3 mo, underwent three defocused ESWT sessions at 72-h intervals. In every session, the sum of 300 standard pulses + 100 pulses per square centimeter was applied at 0.15 mJ/mm2 and 4 Hz over the edge of the wound. The wound size in square centimeters, Bates-Jensen Wound Assessment Tool and visual analogue scale were used as outcome measures. A significant reduction in wound size and Bates-Jensen Wound Assessment Tool and visual analogue scale values from pre-treatment to 90 d was observed. Seven of ten ulcers healed completely and nine of ten patients reported complete pain relief. Defocused ESWT represents a non-invasive, feasible strategy for difficult-to-treat soft tissue wounds of the lower limbs.