Extracorporeal shockwaves as regenerative therapy in orthopedic traumatology: a narrative review from basic research to clinical practice

M. C. D Agostino, Roberto Frairia, Pietro Romeo, Ernesto Amelio, Laura Berta, V. M. Bosco, S. Gigliotti, C. Guerra, S. Messina, L. Messuri, Biagio Moretti, A. Notarnicola, G. Maccagnano, S. Russo, Raoul Saggini, M. C. Vulpiani, P. Buselli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), after its first medical application in the urological field for lithotripsy, nowadays represents a valid therapeutical tool also for many musculoskeletal diseases, as well as for regenerative medicine applications. This is possible thanks to its mechanisms of action, which in the non-urological field are not related to mechanical disruption (as for renal stones), but rather to the capacity, by mechanotransduction, to induce neoangiogenesis, osteogenesis and to improve local tissue trophism, regeneration and remodeling, through stem cell stimulation. On the basis of these biological assumptions, it becomes clear that ESWT can represent a valid therapeutic tool also for all those pathological conditions that derive from musculoskeletal trauma, and are characterized by tissue loss and/or delayed healing and regeneration (mainly bone and skin, but not only). As a safe, repeatable and non–invasive therapy, in many cases it can represent a first–line therapeutic option, as an alternative to surgery (for example, in bone and skin healing disorders), or in combination with some other treatment options. It is hoped that with its use in daily practice also the muscle–skeletal field will grow, not only for standard indications, but also in post–traumatic sequelae, in order to improve recovery and shorten healing time, with undoubted advantages for the patients and lower health service expenses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-332
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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