Effectiveness of ESWT in the Treatment of Kienböck's Disease

Cristina D'Agostino, Pietro Romeo, Ernesto Amelio, Valerio Sansone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kienböck's disease is a rare, painful disorder of the wrist that can seriously restrict the quality of life of patients who have the disease. Although a century has passed since the pathology was identified, its etiology is still uncertain, with mechanical, traumatic, vascular, and systemic factors all being advocated. Likewise, there is no consensus regarding treatment, and no approach-either conservative or surgical-has been demonstrated to yield significantly better outcomes. Extracorporeal shock wave treatment (ESWT) has been effective in stimulating fracture healing, and it has been adopted as a therapy to restore vascular supply in those bone conditions characterized by vascular impairment. We report our experience in treating 22 patients with Kienböck's disease at various stages with high-energy shock waves. Our results indicate that ESWT has a positive effect on pain and functional impairment of the wrist, and may delay surgical treatment. Further studies are necessary to understand the full potential of this therapeutic tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1452-1456
Number of pages5
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Extracorporeal shock wave treatment
  • Kienböck's disease
  • Lunate
  • Osteonecrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics


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