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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spine Fusion for Discogenic Low Back Pain: Outcomes in Patients Treated With or Without Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Stimulation

Richard A. Marks, M.D.
Richardson Orthopaedic Surgery
Richardson, Texas

Abstract:
Sixty-one randomly selected patients who underwent lumbar fusion surgeries for discogenic low back pain between 1987 and 1994 were retrospectively studied. All patients had failed to respond to preoperative conservative treatments. Forty-two patients received adjunctive therapy with pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF)stimulation, and 19 patients received no electrical stimulation of any kind. Average follow-up time was 15.6 months postoperatively. Fusion succeeded in 97.6% of the PEMF group and in 52.6% of the unstimulated group(P<.001). The observed agreement between clinical and radiographic outcome was 75%. The use of PEMF stimulation enhances bony bridging in lumbar spinal fusions. Successful fusion underlies a good clinical outcome in patients with discogenic low back pain.

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