The Use of Shock Waves in Peripheral Nerve Regeneration:New Perspectives?

Low-energy extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT) is a relatively new therapeutic tool that is widely used for the treatment of epicondylitis and plantar fasciitis and tofoster bone and wound healing. Shock waves, sonic pulses with high energy impact,are thought to induce biochemical changes within the targeted tissues through mechanotransduction. The biological effects of ESWT are manifested in improved vas-cularization, the local release of growth factors, and local anti-inflammatory effects, butthe target cells too are influenced. ESWT appears to have differential effects on peripheral nerves and has been proved to promote axonal regeneration after axotomy. This review discusses the effects of ESWT on intact and injured peripheral nerves and suggests a multiple mechanism of action.

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