Does magnet therapy/magnetic therapy help treat poorly healed fractures?

William Pawluk, MD
Preventive Medicine

PEMFs have been used extensively for decades for many conditions and medical disciplines, and results can be seen in animals as well as humans. The National Institutes of Health have made PEMFs a priority for research. In fact, many PEMF devices have already been approved by the FDA, some specifically to fuse broken bones, for wound healing, for pain and tissue swelling, and to treat depression. Most therapeutic PEMF devices are considered safe by various standards and organizations.

There was also a study at Texas A&M on New Zealand White Rabbits using a PEMF signal which showed significant bone regrowth. A number of rabbits had incisions made in the forearm bone, the ulna, where section of the bone was removed leaving a significant gap. Under normal circumstances this gap will not heal in, because of the extent of the gap. In the control group without PEMF stimulation, what would normally happen was revealed--that is, there was no bone regeneration in the gap. In the treatment group, after 14 days of treatment there was clear evidence of bone growth in the gap. After 28 days, in the untreated group, there was still no bone growth in the gap. However, in the PEMF treated group, there was a dramatic increase in bone growth, and tendons and ligaments. The study didn't continue until full healing occurred, but obviously there were significant differences between the untreated and the treated groups.

While PEMFs cannot be said to heal any fracture or poorly healed fracture, there are studies suggesting that they may help. 

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