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Injury. 1992;23(5):323-7.

Electrotherapy and the management of minimally displaced fracture of the neck of the humerus.

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Mansfield District General Hospital, UK.


A poor outcome arising from a minimally displaced fracture of the neck of the humerus may be the result of a contracture of the capsule of the glenohumoral joint. Pulsed high frequency electromagnetic energy (PHFE) is an electrotherapy to reduce pain and swelling and to enhance healing. If PHFE is effective, early mobilization of the injured shoulder will be possible, reducing the risk of joint capsule contracture. We therefore conducted a double-blind trial of PHFE in minimally displaced fractures of the neck of the humerus. Early physiotherapy produced an excellent outcome in all cases. The functional outcome depended on age rather than time of starting treatment, although a relationship was found between the time of starting treatment and the duration of therapy required. The use of PHFE did not improve the result further.

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