The present study evaluated the influence of Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound (LIPUS) on the regeneration processes of non-critical-size bone defects in irradiated and non-irradiated rabbit tibias. Bone defects were surgically created on both tibiae of six rabbits. The control group had no additional treatment. In one intervention group, one tibia was irradiated with 15 Gy in a single dose. A second group was treated with LIPUS, and a third with a combination of both treatments. The control samples showed 83.10% ± 17.79% of bone repair after 9 weeks, while the irradiated bone had regenerated significantly less during the same period (66.42% ± 29.36%). The LIPUS treatment on irradiated bones performed a 79.21% ± 21.07% bone fill and could not significantly improve the response compared to the non-treated irradiated specimens. However, LIPUS treatment on non-irradiated bone showed bone formations beyond the size defect (115.91% ± 33.69%), which was a highly significant increase when compared to the control group or any irradiated group. The application of ultrasound to healthy bone produced highly significant and enhanced bone formations with 36.70% more regenerated bone when compared to the same application on irradiated bone. LIPUS vibration stimuli may be considered as a promising complementary treatment approach in non-irradiated bone regeneration procedures to shorten the treatment and enhance bone healing. In irradiated bones, the effect of ultrasound application is less clear, and further studies are needed to refine the dynamics of the present results.
- bone regeneration
- low intensity pulsed ultrasound