Long-term results of extracorporeal shockwave therapy and core decompression in osteonecrosis of the femoral head with eight- to nine-year follow-up

Biomed J. 2012 Nov-Dec;35(6):481-5. doi: 10.4103/2319-4170.104413.


Background: This study analyzed the long-term outcomes of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) and core decompression for early osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) with 8- to 9-year follow-up.

Methods: The study cohort consisted of 48 patients with 57 hips including 23 patients with 29 hips in the ESWT group and 25 patients with 28 hips in the surgical group. Patients in ESWT group received shockwave therapy to the affected hip. Patients in surgical group underwent core decompression and autogenous cancellous bone and allogenous fibular graft. The average length of follow-up was 103.5 ± 3.4 (ranged 93-106) months and 104.5 ± 4.3 (ranged 95-108) months for the ESWT and the surgical group, respectively. The evaluations included clinical assessment for pain and function, X-ray and MRI of the affected hips.

Results: The overall clinical results were 76% good or fair and 24% poor for the ESWT group; and 21% good or fair and 79% poor for the surgical group. THA was performed in 3% and 21% at one year, 10% and 32% at 2 years and 24% and 64% at 8-9 years for ESWT and the surgical group respectively. Significant differences in pain and Harris hip scores were observed at different time intervals favoring the ESWT group. There was a trend of decrease in the size of the lesion in the ESWT group when compared with the surgical group.

Conclusion: ESWT appears to be more effective than core decompression and bone grafting for early ONFH with 8- to 9-year long-term follow-up.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Transplantation* / methods
  • Cohort Studies
  • Decompression, Surgical* / methods
  • Femur Head Necrosis / pathology
  • Femur Head Necrosis / therapy*
  • Fibula / pathology
  • Fibula / transplantation*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Time
  • Treatment Outcome