Introduction: Although Colles' fracture i.e. a dorsally displaced distal radius fracture (DRF) is one of the most common fractures, there is no enough evidence to determine the best form of rehabilitation.
Objective: To assess whether the use of pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy during cast immobilization of DRF provides beneficial effects on pain, edema, wrist range of motion and function, as well as on the frequency of complications immediately after cast removal.
Methods: The prospective randomized controlled study included 60 women over the age of 55 years with extra-articular displaced DRF treated with reduction and cast immobilization. The patients were alternately allocated to either a PEMF group (n = 30, received 10 days of PEMF therapy during immobilization), or a control group (n = 30, without PEMF therapy). Pain, function, hand circumference, wrist and forearm range of motion and frequency of complications for each patient was evaluated within two to three days of cast removal.
Results: Better mean values for the majority of examined parameters were recorded in the PEMF group than in the control group, but the difference was statistically significant just for edema (p < 0.001), flexion, extension and supination range (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: During immobilization PEMF therapy in DRF patients gave better results immediately after cast removal in terms of edema and wrist range of motion (ROM).