A bone healing system that uses ultrasound to treat fractures that have failed to heal after nine months can be used on patients, NICE says.
Health officials predict that if the device is used on all suitable patients in England to avoid costly surgery it could save the NHS up to £3m.
The Exogen emits low-intensity waves which kick-start the body’s natural healing process.
Most breaks and fractures heal naturally with the help of a splint or a cast, but more troublesome breaks have proved expensive to fix.
Professor Carole Longson, director of the NICE Centre for Health Technology Evaluation, said: “We are pleased to publish final medical technology guidance which supports the use of Exogen for treating long bone fractures which have not healed after nine months.
“NICE’S independent medical technologies advisory committee considered that there was evidence to show that using the device in this situation resulted in high rates of fracture healing.
“Using Exogen for treating long bone fractures which have not healed after nine months is estimated to potentially save the NHS £1,164 per patient compared with standard management, as surgery would be avoided.
“The device is also more convenient for patients as it’s intended to be used in the patient’s home.”
Copyright Press Association 2013