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Advantages of magnetotherapy versus surgical treatment in fractures and pseudoarthrosis

Although there were already applications of electromagnetism prior to the twentieth century, it is precisely in the middle of it when the first effective magnetic therapy equipment is developed capable of favoring the recovery of bone tissue both in osteoporosis and in fractures.

Fukuda describes the piezoelectric effect in non-living bone, Basset later shows that the mechanical activity of living bone generates an electrical potential which favors regeneration and the maintenance of a correct bone density, it is something that physiotherapists check on a daily basis: the sooner we can beginning the rehabilitation treatment of an affected patient a faster fracture bone remodeling occurs.

Once it is proved by Professor Basset that the load on the bone tissue produces an electrical potential responsible for maintaining it, the generation of electromagnetic fields capable of acting at a distance on fractures or osteoporosis to improve the bone density of the treated tissue is imposed.

In the last decade of the twentieth century, magnetotherapy is established as the technique of choice in physiotherapy for the treatment of fractures that do not consolidate with superior results to a new surgical act and with great disadvantage with respect to the intervention:

  • Less time required for rehabilitation.
  • Lower risk for the patient.
  • Ease of use of magnetic therapy.

The treatment with magnetic therapy has at least the same efficacy index as the surgical treatment in bone tissue with a consolidation deficit, at the same time it is to value a non-invasive, economical and very easy to use technique.

Undoubtedly, the high therapeutic value stops low frequency and high power magnetotherapy, of at least 100 Gauss, in the treatment of pseudoarthrosis.

There are many studies (see Medline) that demonstrate the effectiveness of magnet therapy in

  • Tibial fractures with an efficiency superior to 85% even in chronic nonunions of more than six months old.
  • Different types of pseudoarthrosis even in situations of multiple or infected fractures with a success rate higher than 80%.
  • Very favorable results in chronic pseudoarthrosis non-union of more than six months return.

It is also to be evaluated very positively that the symptom of pain begins to remit at times after the first treatment and that in cases that present with pain and inflammation after 10 days of treatment with magnetic therapy both symptoms improve practically 100 × 100 of the cases.

Although more than a century ago it has been possible to verify the suitability of the pulsed magnetic fields in the regeneration of bone tissue, there is no unanimity in that it produces exactly that effect. Possible causes for such a remarkable result are postulated to be stimulated by magnetic therapy. local growth factors that favor osteogenesis, the ability of magnetotherapy to induce a piezoelectric effect in bone tissue capable of stimulating osteoblasts and therefore the density of local bone tissue, action on sodium potassium pump, improving oxygenation of the tissues, local activation of the circulation.

Contraindications of magnetotherapy.

We will absolutely avoid the use of magnetic therapy in pregnancy since, although there is no verification that it produces a negative effect per se, the opposite can not be proven either. If the patient is a pacemaker holder or any other equipment that may be affected by the use of magnetic fields, in no case can he use magnetic therapy. We can not use magnetic therapy in tumor processes. Do not use in periods of acute viral infections. It is advisable to check the contraindications that the manufacturer includes in the manual of each specific equipment.

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