Effects of pulsed electromagnetic stimulation on patients undergoing hip revision prostheses: a randomized prospective double-blind study

Bioelectromagnetics. 2009 Sep;30(6):423-30. doi: 10.1002/bem.20492.


In this prospective, randomized, double-blind study, the effect of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMFs) was investigated in 30 subjects undergoing hip revision using the Wagner SL stem. The subjects were treated for 6 h/day up to 90 days after revision. Study end points were assessed clinically by the functional scale of Merle D'Aubigné and instrumentally by Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) at the Gruen zones. Subject improvement according to Merle D'Aubigné scale was higher (P < 0.05) in subjects undergoing active stimulation compared to placebo. In analyzing the DXA findings, we subtracted for each area the postoperative bone mineral density (BMD) values from those measured at 90 days and we considered all results above 3.5% as responders. There were no significant differences in the average BMD values at each Gruen zone between the two groups both postoperatively and at 90 days investigation. In Gruen zones 5 and 6, corresponding to the medial cortex, we observed six responders (40%) in both areas in the control group, while in the stimulated group we observed 14 (93%) and 10 (66%) responders, respectively (both P < 0.05). This study showed that PEMF treatment aids clinical recovery and bone stock restoration.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / methods*
  • Bone Density*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Female
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Hip Joint / physiopathology
  • Hip Joint / surgery*
  • Hip Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Field Therapy*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome