Biophysical Enhancement in Fracture Healing: A Review of the Literature

Author: Ioannis D Aifantis1, Margarita-Michaela Ampadiotaki1, Dimitrios Pallis1, Konstantinos K Tsivelekas1, Stamatios A Papadakis1, Efstathios Chronopoulos2
1 2nd Orthopedic Department, KAT Attica General Hospital, Athens, GRC.
2 Orthopedic Surgery Department, Konstantopoulio General Hospital, Athens, GRC.
Conference/Journal: Cureus
Date published: 2023 Apr 17
Other: Volume ID: 15 , Issue ID: 4 , Pages: e37704 , Special Notes: doi: 10.7759/cureus.37704. , Word Count: 166

Bone healing constitutes a complex process involving cellular and pathophysiological mechanisms. Despite progress in osteosynthesis techniques, fracture union continues to be challenging. In some cases, it is not ultimately achieved or is delayed relative to the expected time resulting in economic and social outcomes for the patient and the health system. In addition to surgical treatment, biophysical methods have been developed to assist in fracture healing used in combination or individually. Biophysical stimulation is a non-invasive therapy used in orthopedic practice to increase and enhance tissue's reparative and anabolic activities. This study reviewed the existing literature, including electromagnetic fields, ultrasound, laser, extracorporeal shockwave therapy, and electrical stimulation, and revealed the efficacy of biophysical stimulation for bone healing. This study aims to define if these methods are helpful, especially in cases of non-union. Biophysical stimulation requires care and precision in use to ensure the success expected of it by physicians and patients.

Keywords: electrical stimulation; electromagnetic fields; extracorporeal shockwave therapy; laser; ultrasound.

PMID: 37206524 PMCID: PMC10191239 DOI: 10.7759/cureus.37704