For the past decade extracorporeal shock wave therapy has been applied to a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders. The many promising results and the introduction of shock wave generators that are less expensive and easier to handle has added to the growing interest. Based on their nature of propagation, shock waves can be divided into two types: focused and unfocused. Although several physical differences between these different types of shock waves have been described, very little is known about the clinical outcome using these different modalities. The aim of the present review is to investigate differences in outcome in select orthopaedic applications using focused and unfocused shock waves.
Copyright © 2012 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.