The role of electromagnetic stimulation in the management of established non-union of long bone fractures: what is the evidence?
Griffin XL., Warner F., Costa M.
BACKGROUND: Non-union following long bone fractures is a cause of significant morbidity to the patient. The management of this condition has proved difficult for the orthopaedic surgeon. Much research has been carried out on the use of electromagnetic stimulation in the healing of non-union. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this review is to determine what evidence exists to support electromagnetic stimulation in the management of established non-union of long bone fractures. METHODS: A systematic search was carried out of the peer-reviewed English language literature to identify all studies investigating electromagnetic stimulation in the treatment of non-union of fractures of long bones. RESULTS: Three of the articles reviewed were randomised clinical trials. Forty-six other studies were also included in the review. CONCLUSIONS: There is a consensus that electromagnetic stimulation is an effective adjunct to conventional therapy when used in the management of non-union of long bone fractures.