Shanks, P., Curran, M., Fletcher, P. and Thompson, R. (2010) The effectiveness of therapeutic ultrasound for musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb: a literature review. The Foot.20(4), pp. 133-139. 0958-2592.
Shanks, P., Curran, M., Fletcher, P. and Thompson, R.
Background: Ultrasound is suggested as one of the treatment options available for soft tissue musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb and to this end, the objective was to review the literature and evaluate the effectiveness of therapeutic ultrasound for musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb. Methods: A search of the literature published between 1975 and February 2009 was carried out. All studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria were quality assessed and scored using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) appraisal tool  for randomised controlled trials. Results: Ten studies out of a possible fifteen were included in the review. Only one trial was considered to be high quality (score 16+), three medium quality trials (score 11–15) were identified and six trials were considered to be low or poor quality (score≤10). None of the six placebo-controlled trials found any statistically significant differences between true and sham ltrasound therapy. Conclusion: This literature review found that there is currently no high quality evidence available to suggest that therapeutic ultrasound is effective for musculoskeletal conditions of the lower limb