A histomorphometric study of necrotic femoral head in rabbits treated with extracorporeal shock waves

J Phys Ther Sci. 2017 Jan;29(1):24-28. doi: 10.1589/jpts.29.24. Epub 2017 Jan 30.


[Purpose] This study aimed to determine the effectiveness and mechanisms of extracorporeal shock wave therapy in the treatment of femoral head osteonecrosis. [Subjects and Methods] Histomorphometric analysis of necrotic femoral head in rabbits treated with shock waves was performed. Bilateral osteonecrosis of femoral heads was induced with methylprednisolone and lipopolysaccharide in eight rabbits. The left limb (study side) received shock waves to the femoral head. The right limb (control side) received no shock waves. Biopsies of the femoral heads were performed at 12 weeks after shock wave therapy. [Results] Necrotic femoral heads treated with shock waves, compared with controls, had higher bone volume per tissue volume, trabecular thickness, trabecular number, osteoblast surface/bone surface, osteoid surface/bone surface, osteoid thickness, mineralizing surface/bone surface, mineralizing apposition rate, and bone formation rate. However, trabecular separation was lower in shock wave-treated femoral heads than in controls. Eroded surface/bone surface and osteoclast surface/bone surface did not differ significantly between groups. [Conclusion] The bone mass of necrotic femoral heads treated with shock waves increases. Extracorporeal shock wave may promote bone repair in necrotic femoral heads through the proliferation and activation of osteoblasts.

Keywords: Extracorporeal shock wave treatment; Histomorphometry; Osteonecrosis.