British scientists stabilised Pisa's famous leaning tower. Now British doctors have devised a solution for a more delicate angle of deviation.

Hi-tech relief is now available for the thousands of men suffering from Peyronie's disease, the bent-penis syndrome that reportedly affects Bill Clinton, the former US president. Until now, the only successful treatment has involved surgery – and a shorter penis.

Peyronie's disease is caused by a build up of collagen or fibrous tissue on one side which causes the penis to bend up to 90 degrees. Sexual intercourse is difficult, painful or even impossible.

The syndrome – named after the French doctor who first spotted it – came to public attention in 1997 when Paula Jones brought her sexual harassment case against Clinton. She claimed in her evidence that the ex-president had a distinguishing kink.

Now, doctors at three hospitals in England are reporting success with ultrasound, which breaks up the fibrous area and allows it to expand normally. In trials reported in the British Journal of Urology, the doctors reduced the bend in all but one patient. Almost half were able to resume sexual intercourse.

"The results show that this therapy produces a significant improvement in pain and penile angle with no serious complications," says Dr Rebecca Hamm of the Royal Torbay Hospital.