Combining therapeutic laser and herbal remedy for treating ligament injury: an ultrastructural morphological study

Photomed Laser Surg. 2008 Oct;26(5):425-32. doi: 10.1089/pho.2007.2159.


Objective: We examined the ultrastructural morphology (number of collagen fibrils, mean and mass-averaged diameter) of isolated and combined treatments of a therapeutic laser and herbs for medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury in rats.

Materials and methods: Twenty-eight rats, divided into seven groups: laser (L), herb (H), laser + herb (LH), laser control (LC), herb control (HC), laser sham (LS) and herb sham (HS), were studied. Right MCL of groups L, H, LH, LC and HC were transected, while that of LS and HS remained intact. Group L received 9 treatment sessions of GaAlAs laser with a dosage of 3.5 Jcm(-2); group H received herbal plaster treatment; groups LH had combined treatments of laser and herb; group LC had placebo laser; group LS had no treatment; groups HC and HS received only bandage without herb. All MCLs were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy at 3 weeks.

Results: Differences (p < 0.05) existed in mean fibril diameters among groups. Core mass-averaged diameters of groups L and H were larger than the control groups (LC and HC). Fibril diameter of group LH (combined treatment) was even larger and approaching that of the intact MCL.

Conclusion: Combined therapeutic laser and herbal treatment hastened collagen fibril maturation in MCL repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Medial Collateral Ligament, Knee / injuries*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Plant Preparations