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Biomed Mater Eng. 2013;23(6):485-93. doi: 10.3233/BME-130774.

Enhancement of fracture healing by electrical stimulation in the comminuted intraarticular fracture of distal radius.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kawakita General Hospital, Tokyo, Japan Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan.


Effectiveness of an alternating electric current (AC) stimulation in prevention of bone deformity for comminuted intraarticular fracture of distal radius were verified by comparing postoperative results treated with a wrist-bridging external fixator combined with or without an AC stimulator (EF and NEF, respectively), and a palmar locking plate (LP). This study evaluated 92 cases (mean age 67.9 ± 11.4 years) of type C2 and 60 cases (mean age 69.7 ± 9.5 years) of type C3 distal radius fractures, as classified by the Association for Osteosynthesis. In total, 55 and 24 cases were treated with EF and NEF, respectively; and 73 cases were treated with LP. Callus appeared 27.5 ± 4.6 days postoperatively and the external skeletal fixation period was significantly shorter in the EF group than in the NEF group. The decrease in radial length was significantly lower in the EF group when compared to the LP group. There were no significant differences among the groups for the other radiographic and functional parameters. AC stimulation combined to the external fixation may be a promising method to prevent postoperative deformity in the severely comminuted intraarticular fractures by accelerating callus maturation and facilitating new bone bridging across the gap of fracture site.


Alternating electric current (AC) stimulation; comminuted intraarticular fracture; distal radius fracture; palmar locking plate; wrist-bridging external fixator

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