Effects of whole-body vibration exercise on bone mineral content and density in thermally injured children

Joel Edionwe, Cameron Hess, Javier Fernandez-Rio, David N. Herndon, Clark R. Andersen, Gordon L. Klein, Oscar E. Suman, William E. Amonette

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background Loss of bone mass, muscle mass, and strength leads to significant disability in severely burned children. We assessed the effects of exercise combined with whole-body vibration (WBV) on bone mass, lean mass (LM), and muscle strength in children recovering from burns. Methods Nineteen burned children (≥30% total body surface area [TBSA] burns) were randomly assigned to a 6-week exercise regimen either alone (EX; n = 10) or in combination with a 6-week WBV training regimen (EX + WBV; n = 9). WBV was performed concurrent to the exercise regimen for 5 days/week on a vibrating platform. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry quantified bone mineral content (BMC), bone mineral density (BMD), and LM; knee extension strength was assessed using isokinetic dynamometry before and after training. Alpha was set at p < 0.05. Results Both groups were similar in age, height, weight, TBSA burned, and length of hospitalization. Whole-body LM increased in the EX group (p = 0.041) and trended toward an increase in the EX + WBV group (p = 0.055). On the other hand, there were decreases in leg BMC for both groups (EX, p = 0.011; EX + WBV, p = 0.047), and in leg BMD for only the EX group (EX, p < 0.001; EX + WBV, p = 0.26). Truncal BMC decreased in only the EX group (EX, p = 0.009; EX + WBV, p = 0.61), while BMD decreased in both groups (EX, p < 0.001; EX + WBV group, p < 0.001). Leg strength increased over time in the EX group (p < 0.001) and the EX + WBV group (p < 0.001; between-group p = 0.31). Conclusions Exercise in combination with WBV may help attenuate regional bone loss in children recovering from burns. Studies are needed to determine the optimal magnitude, frequency, and duration of the vibration protocol, with attention to minimizing any potential interference with wound healing and graft closure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-613
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Bone
  • Bone content
  • Bone density
  • Exercise
  • Whole-body vibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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