A preliminary investigation on the effect of extracorporeal shock wave therapy as a treatment for neurogenic heterotopic ossification following traumatic brain injury. Part I: Effects on pain

Jacqueline Reznik, Erik Biros, Anthony Lamont, Y Sacher, O Kibrik, Steve Milanese, Susan Gordon, Mary Galea

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    Introduction: Neurogenic heterotopic ossification (NHO) is a complication of a neurological injury following traumatic brain injury (TBI) and may be present around major synovial joints. It is often accompanied by severe pain, which may lead to limitation in activities of daily living. Currently, a common intervention for NHO is surgery, which has been reported to carry many additional risks. This study was designed to assess the effect of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) on pain in patients with TBI with chronic NHO. Methods: A series of single-case studies (n = 11) was undertaken with patients who had TBI and chronic NHO at the hip or knee. Each patient received four applications of high-energy EWST delivered to the affected joint over 8 weeks. Two-weekly follow-up assessments were carried out, and final assessments were made 3 and 6 months post-intervention. Pain was measured using the Faces Rating Scale, and X-rays were taken at baseline and 6-months post-intervention to physiologically measure the size of the NHO. Results: The application of high-energy ESWT was associated with significant overall reduction of pain in patients with TBI and NHO (Tau-0.412, 95% confidence interval −0.672 to −0.159, p = 0.002). Conclusions: ESWT is a novel non-invasive intervention for reducing pain resulting from NHO in patients with TBI.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)526-532
    Number of pages7
    JournalBrain Injury
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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