Evaluating the Effectiveness of Biophysical Methods of Osteogenesis Stimulation: Review

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Abstract

Background. Stimulation of osteogenesis (SO) by biophysical methods has been widely used in practice to accelerate healing or stimulate the healing of fractures with non-unions, since the middle of the XIX century. SO can be carried out by direct current electrostimulation, or indirectly by low-intensity pulsed ultrasound, capacitive electrical coupling stimulation, and pulsed electromagnetic field stimulation. SO simulates natural physiological processes: in the case of electrical stimulation, it changes the electromagnetic potential of damaged cell tissues in a manner similar to normal healing processes, or in the case of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound, it produces weak mechanical effects on the fracture area. SO increases the expression of factors and signaling pathways responsible for tissue regeneration and bone mineralization and ultimately accelerates bone union.

The purpose of this review was to present the most up-to-date data from laboratory and clinical studies of the effectiveness of SO.

Material and Methods. The results of laboratory studies and the final results of metaanalyses for each of the four SO methods published from 1959 to 2020 in the PubMed, EMBASE, and eLibrary databases are reviewed.

Conclusion. The use of SO effectively stimulates the healing of fractures with the correct location of the sensors, compliance with the intensity and time of exposure, as well as the timing of use for certain types of fractures. In case of non-union or delayed union of fractures, spondylodesis, arthrodesis, preference should be given to non-invasive methods of SO. Invasive direct current stimulation can be useful for non-union of long bones, spondylodesis with the risk of developing pseudoarthrosis.

About the authors

V. Yu. Emelianov

Federal Center of Traumatology, Orthopedics and Arthroplasty; Chuvash State University named after I.N. Ulyanov

Author for correspondence.
Email: vemelianov@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1720-1741

Vladimir Yu. Emelianov — Doctor; Assistant Professor

Cheboksary

Russian Federation

E. V. Preobrazhenskaia

Federal Center of Traumatology, Orthopedics and Arthroplasty

Email: alenka_22@bk.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3556-145X

Elena V. Preobrazhenskaia — Head of Research Department

Cheboksary

N. S. Nikolaev

Federal Center of Traumatology, Orthopedics and Arthroplasty; Chuvash State University named after I.N. Ulyanov

Email: nikolaevns@mail.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1560-470X

Nikolai S. Nikolaev — Dr. Sci. (Med.), Professor, Chief Physician; Head of Department of Traumatology, Orthopedics and Emergency Medicine

Cheboksary

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