Veterinary applications of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy.
- Peak Performance Veterinary Group, 5520 N Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, USA. Electronic address: email@example.com.
- Department of Neurosurgery, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, MSC 10 5615, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Division of Experimental Medicine, University of California San Francisco, 1001 Potrero Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA. Electronic address: Blake.Gurfein@ucsf.edu.
Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy can non-invasively treat a variety of pathologies by delivering electric and magnetic fields to tissues via inductive coils. The electromagnetic fields generated by these devices have been found to affect a variety of biological processes and basic science understanding of the underlying mechanisms of action of PEMF treatment has accelerated in the last 10?years. Accumulating clinical evidence supports the use of PEMF therapy in both animals and humans for specific clinical indications including bone healing, wound healing, osteoarthritis and inflammation, and treatment of post-operative pain and edema. While there is some confusion about PEMF as a clinical treatment modality, it is increasingly being prescribed by veterinarians. In an effort to unravel the confusion surrounding PEMF devices, this article reviews important PEMF history, device taxonomy, mechanisms of action, basic science and clinical evidence, and relevant trends in veterinary medicine. The data reviewed underscore the usefulness of PEMF treatment as a safe, non-invasive treatment modality that has the potential to become an important stand-alone or adjunctive treatment modality in veterinary care.
Bone growth stimulator; Edema; Inflammation; Medical devices; Post-operative pain; Pulsed electromagnetic field
- Veterinary Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group, Ellicott City, MD 21042, USA. email@example.com
Physical rehabilitation modalities such as therapeutic ultrasound (TU), transcutaneous electrical neuromuscular stimulation (TENS), neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), cold or low-level laser therapy (LLLT), and pulsed magnetic field therapy (PMF) can all, when used properly, assist in treating orthopedic injuries, neurological conditions, and chronic conditions brought about by normal aging in our small animal companions. TU uses sound waves to produce both thermal and nonthermal effects that aid in tissue healing, repair, and function. TENS uses different frequencies of electrical current to decrease pain and inflammation. NMES also uses an electrical current to stimulate muscle contraction to assist in normal neuromuscular function in postorthopedic and neurological injuries. LLLT uses light energy to reduce pain, decrease inflammation, and stimulate healing at a cellular level. PMF uses magnetic field to stimulate normal cellular ion exchange and oxygen utilization and promote generalized healing of tissues. These modalities are discussed in detail covering mechanism of action, parameters, settings, and indications/contraindications of use in our small animals. Although these modalities are important in the physical rehabilitation of small animals, they need to be incorporated with a proper diagnosis, manual therapy, and home exercise program into a specific and individualized patient treatment protocol.
Effect of pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) on late-phase osteotomy gap healing in a canine tibial model.
- Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205-2196, USA.
The effects of a pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) on late bone healing phases using an osteotomy gap model in the canine mid-tibia were investigated. A transverse mid-diaphyseal tibial osteotomy with a 2-mm gap was performed unilaterally in 12 adult mixed-breed dogs and stabilized with external fixation. Animals in the variable group (n = 6) were treated with PEMF for 1 h daily starting 4 weeks after surgery for a total of 8 weeks, whereas no stimulation signal was generated in the control group (n = 6). Functional load-bearing and radiographic assessments were conducted time-sequentially until euthanasia 12 weeks after surgery. Torsional tests and an analysis of undecalcified histology were performed on the retrieved mid-tibial diaphysis containing the osteotomy site. In the PEMF group, load-bearing of the operated limb recovered earlier when compared to the control group (p < 0.05). Load-bearing in the PEMF group at 8 weeks was greater than in the control group (p < 0.02). The periosteal callus area increased following surgery at 6 weeks (p < 0.05) and thereafter (p < 0.01) in the PEMF group, while a significant increase was observed at 8 and 10 weeks after surgery (p < 0.05) in the control group. Both the normalized maximum torque and torsional stiffness of the PEMF group were significantly greater than those of the control group (p < 0.04 and p < 0.007, respectively). Histomorphometric analyses revealed greater new-bone formation (p < 0.05) in the osteotomy gap tissue and increased mineral apposition rate (p < 0.04) and decreased porosity in the cortex adjacent to the osteotomy line (p < 0.02) in the PEMF group. PEMF stimulation of 1 h per day for 8 weeks provided faster recovery of load-bearing, a significant increase in new bone formation, and a higher mechanical strength of the healing mid-tibial osteotomy. This study revealed enhancing effects of PEMF on callus formation and maturation in the late-phase of bone healing.