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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1981 Jan-Feb;(154):136-48.

Congenital "pseudarthroses" of the tibia: treatment with pulsing electromagnetic fields.

Abstract

During the past seven years, 34 patients with infantile nonunions associated with congenital "pseudarthroses" completed treatment with pulsing electromagnetic fields (PEMFs). An analysis of results reveals that 17/34 (50%) have achieved complete healing with biomechanically sound union and radiographic demonstration of remedullarization. Union with function, i.e., healing with continued need for protection, was achieved in 7/34 (21%). Failure was the outcome in 10/34 patients (29%). Most of these occurred in males with a history of early fracture (less than 1 year) and with spindled, hypermobile lesions (Type III). During the early period of the study, PEMFs were the sole means of treatment. After a "coil effect" had been demonstrated, surgical realignment, immobilization and grafting were combined with PEMF treatment. Fundamentals of orthopedic management developed by the larger experience with adult nonunions were found to apply equally to infantile nonunions treated with PEMFs. These include effective immobilization of the fracture site and controlled "stress working" during recovery to facilitate gradual remodeling. PEMFs have been demonstrated to be a potentially useful adjunct in the orthopedic surgeon's armamentarium for treating infantile nonunions (congenital "pseudarthroses").

PMID:
6781806
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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