Scientific/Clinical Article| Volume 18, ISSUE 2, P292-296, April 2005

Is There a Role for Ultrasound and Electrical Stimulation Following Injury to Tendon and Nerve?


      Ultrasound (US) and electrical stimulation have been widely used in hand therapy to promote recovery after nerve and tendon injuries. There is support for the use of low-dosage continuous wave and pulsed US for carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Iontophoresis with dexamethasone sodium phosphate can relieve pain in acute elbow tendonitis, but there is no support for phonophoresis for any tendonitis. Animal model research supports the use of low-dosage US to improve the mechanical properties of the Achilles tendon when initiated immediately after tenorrhaphy. There are no studies available which have examined US applied to tendons in humans after repair. Electrical stimulation has been extensively studied in animal models after nerve axonotmesis and neurotmesis with nerve repair, with some support of enhancing recovery. There is a void in the literature on the use of electrical stimulation for humans after nerve transection and repair.
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