The efficacy of ultrasound-guided extracorporeal shockwave therapy in patients with cervical spondylosis and nuchal ligament calcification

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Abstract

We investigated the effects of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) on the rehabilitation of cervical spondylosis with nuchal ligament (NL) calcification under X-ray and ultrasound guidance. Sixty patients with cervical spondylosis and calcification of NL were selected and randomly assigned to three groups: A, B, and C. Patients in Group A received rehabilitation with 20 minutes of hot packs and underwent 15 minutes of intermittent cervical traction three times/week for 6 weeks. Patients in Group B received the same rehabilitation as those in Group A and ESWT (2000 impulses, 0.27 mJ/mm2) over the calcified NL guided by X-ray image. Patients in Group C received the same treatment as those in Group B, but the ESWT was guided by musculoskeletal sonography. The therapeutic effects were evaluated by: changes in range of motion (ROM) of the cervical spine including flexion, extension, lateral bending, and rotation; visual analog pain scale; and Neck Disability Index before and after treatment and at follow up 3 months later. We found a significant reduction in pain in each treated group after treatment and at follow up. However, patients in Groups B and C showed more improvements in ROM and neck pain relief after treatment and a decrease in Neck Disability Index. Furthermore, patients in Group C showed better cervical ROM at follow up than Group B. ESWT is an adjuvant treatment in the management of cervical spondylosis with calcification of NL and ultrasound-guided ESWT results in more functional improvements.

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Lin, T. Y., Chen, J. T., Chen, Y. Y., Chen, T. W., Lee, C. L., Chen, C. H., & Huang, M. H. (2015). The efficacy of ultrasound-guided extracorporeal shockwave therapy in patients with cervical spondylosis and nuchal ligament calcification. Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, 31(7), 337–343. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.kjms.2015.05.003

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