Stimulation of bone growth with low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy was tested in 77 patients suffering with femoral neck fractures by research team consisting of representatives from two major Italian universities (Faldini et al., 2010).
Hip fractures are common especially in elderly people and difficult to heal thanks to usually already existing osteoporosis. They are often caused by minor trauma, e.g. fall.
For these reasons, the study was looking for an alternative to complicated surgery, such as a hip replacement, and tried to determine whether low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy could reduce the time necessary for the union of a bone, increase the percentage of healed bone and delay the eventual death of the femoral neck (osteonecrosis).
Patients were randomly assigned to experimental and control group. Treatment represented eight-hour application of pulsed magnetic therapy once a day for 90 days. Fracture union was evaluated by X-ray after 30, 60 and 90 days.
Final results revealed that pulsed magnetic therapy can offer almost 100% chance for successful treatment in such cases! In the control group, only 69% of fractures showed some improvements.
At the same time, the analgesic effects of pulsed magnetic field were confirmed as each check-up showed significant pain relief in the active group in contrast to the control group. This study thus clearly demonstrated that low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy accelerates healing of fractures and also reduces associated pain, which offers a better quality of life to patients.
Reference: Faldini, C. et al. (2010) Electromagnetic bone growth stimulation in patients with femoral neck fractures treated with screws: Prospective randomized double-blind study. Current Orthopaedic Practice. [Online] 21 (3), 282–287.Electromagnetic bone growth stimulation in patients with femoral neck fractures treated with screws: Prospective randomized double-blind study http://www.researchgate.net/publication/232214268_Electromagnetic_bone_growth_stimulation
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