Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Foot FAQ

Question:

My neighbor had shock therapy to help her broken toe heal. I've heard of that for kidney stones, but how can that help with broken bones?

Answer:

Shock therapy has been used for a while for treating some problems such as kidney stones, this is true. However, shock therapy is proving to be useful in other areas as well. In the case of a broken toe, certain types are difficult to treat because of the way the foot is made and the heavy weight the feet and toes take when you bear weight. For this reason, it isn't always easy to help a broken toe heal properly. Surgery is a frequent solution, but all surgeries have their risks and there is a 7% to 44% rate of complications for this particular type of surgery. Researchers and doctors don't understand how shock therapy can help heal a broken bone, but they do know that it can enhance bone growth and healing, without the complications associated with surgery. More research is going on to learn more and to see how else they can use the technology. John P. Furia, MD, et al. Shock Wave Therapy Compared with Intramedullary Screw Fixation for Nonunion of Proximal Fifth Metatarsal Metaphyseal-Diaphyseal Fractures. In The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery. Feb. 2010. Vol. 92. No. 4. Pp. 846-854.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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