Suitable aid for better healing of forearm fractures

Editor: | 10. December 2018

Suitable aid for better healing of forearm fractures was the subject of a randomized, placebo-controlled study (Cheing et al., 2005) that was later published in the Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine. With a help of corresponding control groups, the research team tried to determine the best combination of icing and pulsed magnetic therapy for the most effective treatment.

Fractures of the distal radius are often the result of clumsy impact on hands. The goal of the treatment plan is then not only a proper union of bones, but also a support in maintaining maximum functionality with a minimum of subsequent complications. So treatment of pain and swelling, which occurs in most patients after the plaster is removed, is also relevant. This study therefore wanted to find out what sort of 5-day combination of pulsed magnetic therapy and ice packs could relieve pain and swelling and help rehabilitated the wrist.

A total of 83 patients, whose plasters were taken off after 6 weeks, were divided into four groups. One group was applying ice to the wrist and also underwent pulsed magnetic therapy. In contrast, the second group was also using ice packs, but as patients were using sham devices, the effects of pulsed magnetic therapy were not delivered. The third group received only pulsed magnetic therapy, no ice, and the fourth one was not treated at all because patients did not get any ice and were also using sham devices. Results were recorded after 1, 3 and 5 days and compared to the data from the initial examination of patients.

Based on the final evaluation, low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy proved significant analgesic and healing effects compared to the control groups. After three days, both pulsed magnetic therapy in combination with icing and pulsed magnetic therapy on its own alleviated the pain and decreased swelling by more than 15%. After five days of treatment, it was already 40% in the group undergoing combination of pulsed magnetic therapy and icing, and 25% in the group which was only treated with pulsed magnetic therapy.

Much better treatment results are therefore achieved with the addition of the effects of low-frequency pulsed magnetic therapy to the traditional treatment of forearm since pulsed magnetic therapy further reduces pain and promotes healing of fractures of the wrist.

Reference: Cheing, G. et al. (2005) Ice and pulsed electromagnetic field to reduce pain and swelling after distal radius fractures. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine (Taylor & Francis Ltd). 37 (6), 372–377.

Ice and pulsed electromagnetic field to reduce pain and swelling after distal radius fractures

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Related diagnosis: Fractures

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