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CT scan-evaluated outcome of pulsed electromagnetic fields in the treatment of acute scaphoid fractures: a randomised, multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Author(s): Hannemann PF(1), van Wezenbeek MR(1), Kolkman KA(2), Twiss EL(3), Berghmans CH(4), Dirven PA(5), Brink PR(1), Poeze M(1).

Affiliation(s): Author information: (1)Maastricht University Medical Centre, Department of Surgery and Trauma Surgery, PO Box 5800, 6202 AZ, Maastricht, the Netherlands. (2)Rijnstate Hospital Arnhem, Department of Surgery, PO Box 9555, 6800 TA Arnhem, the Netherlands. (3)Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, Department of Surgery, PO Box 9015, 6500 GS Nijmegen, the Netherlands. (4)Isala Clinics, Department of Surgery, PO Box 10400, 8000 GK Zwolle, the Netherlands. (5)Maasziekenhuis Pantein Hospital, Department of Surgery, PO Box 55, 5830 AB Boxmeer, the Netherlands.

Publication date & source: 2014, Bone Joint J. , 96-B(8):1070-6

We hypothesised that the use of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) bone growth stimulation in acute scaphoid fractures would significantly shorten the time to union and reduce the number of nonunions in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre trial. A total of 102 patients (78 male, 24 female; mean age 35 years (18 to 77)) from five different medical centres with a unilateral undisplaced acute scaphoid fracture were randomly allocated to PEMF (n = 51) or placebo (n = 51) and assessed with regard to functional and radiological outcomes (multiplanar reconstructed CT scans) at 6, 9, 12, 24 and 52 weeks. The overall time to clinical and radiological healing did not differ significantly between the active PEMF group and the placebo group. We concluded that the addition of PEMF bone growth stimulation to the conservative treatment of acute scaphoid fractures does not accelerate bone healing.

Page last updated: 2014-11-30

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