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Low intensity pulsed ultrasound for fractures of the tibial shaft.

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 25 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5652
  1. X L Griffin, associate professor of trauma surgery
  1. Oxford Trauma, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Kadoorie Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK
  1. Correspondence to: xavier.griffin{at}

We now have sound evidence that it doesn’t work

The key characteristic of a clinical researcher is probably the determination to deliver high quality studies despite all the inevitable bumps along the road. As well as the difficulties around funding and maintaining large collaborations that can deliver high impact multicentre studies, there are also more worrying challenges that threaten the robustness of the science. Some are widely recognised, such as publication bias, others are less overt; the reluctance of sponsors to complete some industry funded studies if the results aren’t going their way and the distorting effect of regulatory policies on study design, such as regulatory demand for placebo controlled designs rather than more useful comparative research.

In a linked paper, Busse and colleagues (doi:10.1136/bmj.i5351) report findings from a trial of low intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) in tibial fracture healing.1 They are to be congratulated …

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