OBJECTIVE: To determine the influence of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) on radiographic healing and limb function after uncomplicated, stable osteotomies in dogs.
STUDY DESIGN: In vivo, prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-control study.
SAMPLE POPULATION: Fifty client-owned dogs.
METHODS: Fifty client-owned dogs with naturally occurring unilateral cranial cruciate ligament rupture were enrolled prior to tibial plateau leveling osteotomy. Dogs were assigned to an active (LIPUS) treatment group or a placebo control (SHAM) treatment group via block randomization on the basis of age, weight, and affected limb. Dogs in the LIPUS treatment group underwent LIPUS treatments for 20 minutes daily: 1.5-MHZ ultrasound wave pulsed at 1 kHZ with a 20% duty cycle at an intensity of 30 mW/cm2 for the duration of the study (12 weeks). Radiographic evaluation was performed at 4, 8, 10, and 12 weeks postoperatively to evaluate bone healing. Limb function was assessed with temporal-spatial gait analysis preoperatively and at 4, 8, and 12 weeks postoperatively by using a pressure-sensitive walkway system.
RESULTS: Both groups had significant improvement in radiographic score and limb use over time. However, there was no significant difference in radiographic bone healing, or limb use as measured by objective gait analysis detected between the LIPUS treatment group and SHAM treatment group at any point in the study.
CONCLUSION: LIPUS treatment did not improve healing in this stable osteotomy model.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: This study does not provide evidence to support the clinical application of LIPUS to stimulate the healing of stable, uncomplicated osteotomies to accelerate bone healing.