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Pulsed electromagnetic field treatments enhance the healing of fibular osteotomies.

Authors:

Midura RJ, Ibiwoye MO, Powell KA, Sakai Y, Doehring T, Grabiner MD, Patterson TE, Zborowski M, Wolfman A.

Location:

Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Orthopaedic Research Center, Lerner Research Institute of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA. midura@bme.ri.ccf.org

Abstract:

This study tested the hypothesis that pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) treatments augment and accelerate the healing of bone trauma. It utilized micro-computed tomography imaging of live rats that had received bilateral 0.2 mm fibular osteotomies (approximately 0.5% acute bone loss) as a means to assess the in vivo rate dynamics of hard callus formation and overall callus volume. Starting 5 days post-surgery, osteotomized right hind limbs were exposed 3 h daily to Physio-Stim PEMF, 7 days a week for up to 5 weeks of treatment. The contralateral hind limbs served as sham-treated, within-animal internal controls. Although both PEMF- and sham-treatment groups exhibited similar onset of hard callus at approximately 9 days after surgery, a 2-fold faster rate of hard callus formation was observed thereafter in PEMF-treated limbs, yielding a 2-fold increase in callus volume by 13-20 days after surgery. The quantity of the new woven bone tissue within the osteotomy sites was significantly better in PEMF-treated versus sham-treated fibulae as assessed via hard tissue histology. The apparent modulus of each callus was assessed via a cantilever bend test and indicated a 2-fold increase in callus stiffness in the PEMF-treated over sham-treated fibulae. PEMF-treated fibulae exhibited an apparent modulus at the end of 5-weeks that was approximately 80% that of unoperated fibulae. Overall, these data indicate that Physio-Stim PEMF treatment improved osteotomy repair. These beneficial effects on bone healing were not observed when a different PEMF waveform, Osteo-Stim, was used. This latter observation demonstrates the specificity in the relationship between waveform characteristics and biological outcomes.

Reference:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15936919

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