Last night I took the stupid aircast off. I tried to keep an open mind about the whole thing but more and more I’m convinced that the aircast is snake oil…or at least not applicable for tibial stress fractures. OK, OK, at the very least the aircast didn’t work for me. Maybe it works for other people but I’m doubting it.
I’ve been looking into the possibility of using an Exogen ultrasound bone stimulator. I don’t have enough information at this point and I’m afraid this might be snake oil too. The last thing I want to do is have insurance pay for another useless treatment. As I type this I think I might not bother with the bone stimulator. For one thing you need a prescription. For another plenty of people heal just fine without one. I’m not a pro athlete. My livelihood doesn’t depend on running. My sanity might but my family won’t starve because I can’t run. I need more information.
I just did a quick search on pubmed.com (one seriously awesome site for searching medical research texts) and found some interesting hits (with full text!). One study, which doesn’t seem to be a study since I don’t see a control group mentioned, has a positive outlook on LIPUS (low intensity pulsed ultra sound) in accelerating the healing of bone fractures. Another study, which appears at first glance to be well executed (double-blind, randomized, used a placebo device in the control group) found no statistical difference out of a group of around 100 patients. This sounds like the aircast all over again.
If it sounds too good to be true it probably is… but not always. I think in this case it’s too good to be true. I’ll stick with the tried and true method to return to running.