Comparing the Differences Of LIPUS To Low Level Laser Therapy LLLT On How They Increase Bone Growth

Comparing the Differences Of LIPUS To Low Level Laser Therapy LLLT On How They Increase Bone Growth

At some point in the website, I have mentioned and did some research on both LIPUS aka Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound and LLLT aka Low Level Laser Therapy as a possible ways to accelerate the rate of long bones to grow. At this current time, I feel that LIPUS as a technique has no effect at all on bone growth. As for LLLT, it is also not effective, but there seems to be at least one study which contradicts my opinion.

What I am willing to accept about the LIPUS technology, is that there is some evidence that using LIPUS on bone fractures to stimulate healing seems to have been validated by just a few studies. It will work in increasing osteogenesis but not chondrogenesis, which is what we should be looking for. The same can be said of LLLT, but so far I have not personally found any studies or evidence to support the idea that LLLT can be used to heal bone fractures and increase the rate of osteogenesis or bone healing.

However, recently I did find two studies which made me look at the evidence. They are…

  1. Comparative study of how low-level laser therapy and low-intensity pulsed ultrasound affect bone repair in rats.
  2. Comparative study of the effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound and low-level laser therapy on bone defects in tibias of rats.

From the 1st study, it is revealed that LLLT seems to have some effect on at least making the bones stronger. The experimenters created 3 groups of lab rats, ones getting LIPUS, another group getting the LLLT, and a 3rd control group. The LLLT group showed that when the long bones which were cut beforehand were bent, the loading was higher than the other 2 groups. It seems that the process for bone growth is different between the LIPUS and the LLLT. Whereas the LLLT could cause actual bone growth by inducing more osteoblast and osteoid surfaces, the LIPUS group supposedly could increase the formation of of osteoclasts, thus causing the bones cells which is responsible for resorption to be increased.

We were however confused by the conclusion, since these researchers seemed to have contradicted themselves. They are saying that LIPUS could prevent bones from becoming resorbed but our interpretation of the abstract is that they actually increased resorption of the bone, thus making the bones weaker. 

Our opinions were validated by the 2nd study which we have referenced above.

The procedure the researchers did was almost exactly the same, using the same 3 groups. The results for this experiment actually made much more sense.

We quote the following…

The results showed intense new bone formation surrounded by highly vascularized connective tissue presenting a slight osteogenic activity….

The issue is that this new bone formation was only seen in the group of lab rats after a few weeks getting the LLLT treatment. For the rats getting the LIPUS, there was no sign of bone formation.

The conclusion

I think it is time to state that not only is LIPUS not chondrogenic, it is not osteogenic either. Compared to something like LLLT, it showed no effects. If LIPUS compared to LLLT shows no effect, then it definitely won’t hold water against something much more effective like PEMF technology.

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