Treatment of therapeutically resistant non-unions with bone grafts and pulsing electromagnetic fields

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1982 Oct;64(8):1214-20.


This study reviews the cases of eighty-three adults with ununited fractures who were treated concomitantly with bone-grafting and pulsed electromagnetic fields. An average of 1.5 years had elapsed since fracture and the use of this combined approach. Nearly one-third of the patients had a history of infection, and an average of 2.4 prior operations had failed to produce bone union. Thirty-eight patients who were initially treated with grafts and pulsed electromagnetic fields for ununited fractures with wide gaps, synovial pseudarthrosis, and malalignment achieved a rate of successful healing of 87 per cent. Forty-five patients who had initially been treated unsuccessfully with pulsing electromagnetic fields alone had bone-grafting and were re-treated with pulsing electromagnetic fields. Ninety-three per cent of these fractures healed. The residual failure rate after two therapeutic attempts, one of which was operative, was 1.5 per cent. The median time to union for both groups of patients was four months.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Transplantation*
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena / therapeutic use*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Fractures, Ununited / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Ununited / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Field Therapy*
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Reoperation
  • Wound Healing