Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound as a Potential Adjuvant Therapy to Promote Spinal Fusion

Ethan Cottrill, Max Downey, Zach Pennington, Jeff Ehresman, Andrew Schilling, Madison Downey, Andrew Hersh, Nicholas Theodore, Daniel M. Sciubba, Timothy Witham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite extensive research, nonunion continues to affect a nontrivial proportion of patients undergoing spinal fusion. Recently, preclinical studies have suggested that low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) may increase rates of spinal fusion. In this study, we summarized the available in vivo literature evaluating the effect of LIPUS on spinal fusion and performed a meta-analysis of the available data to estimate the degree to which LIPUS may mediate higher fusion rates. Across 13 preclinical studies, LIPUS was associated with a 9-fold increase in the odds of successful spinal fusion. Future studies are necessary to establish the benefit of LIPUS on spinal fusion in clinical populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2005-2017
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • low-intensity pulsed ultrasound
  • nonunion
  • pseudarthrosis
  • spinal fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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