Introduction: Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT), first described in the eighties for the treatment of urolithiasis, has also been applied in other fields such as orthopaedics and chronic wound care. Recently it has also been used in the treatment of burns and its sequelae since several studies suggest it could be an important tool in the conservative management of these conditions. The aim of this article is to review the literature for published evidence on the use of ESWT for the treatment of acute burn patients and its sequelae and to elaborate a brief report on the current state of the matter. Material and methods: We carried on a search on PUBMED database and Cochrane database with the following terms: (‘burns’ [title/abstract] OR ‘burn’ [title/abstract]) AND “shock wave” ([title/abstract]). For an optimal reporting of the studies found we followed the PRISMA statement. Results: This search found 34 articles from which only 15 were actually related to the use of ESWT in burn patients. From these 15 articles, 7 involved the use of ESWT in the treatment of acute burns, 6 related to its application in post-burn scars, 1 in the treatment of heterotopic ossification and 1 was about the use of ESWT in skin-graft donor site. Except for the latter, all of them were carefully reviewed. Conclusion: Scientific evidence on the use of ESWT for the treatment of burn patients is weak due to the paucity of studies and their low quality. However, ESWT seems to be a promising tool in this field and therefore more high-quality trials should be conducted.
- Acoustic energy
- Burn scar
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy
- Shock waves
- Wound healing