Daily post

It was a shocker!

Surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania reported how they used electricity to repair a fibular fracture in an October 1971 journal article.

The mammal was a rabbit, not a human. But researchers at the University of Pennsylvania had discovered that electricity “stimulates fracture healing.” Their 1971 article was the “first modern report” of the successful use of direct current to stimulate bone growth after a break.

By 1980, researchers found similar results with dogs as the subjects. Although there was no research support, electrical stimulation had been a treatment for fractures in the mid-1800s.

In a literature review published in 2011, the authors concluded that electrical stimulation was effective in encouraging bone growth. However, “the exact mechanism by which ES enhances bone repair is still not fully understood.”

According to researchers in 2016, “traumatic fractures [were] estimated to incur $265.4 billion dollars per year of economic loss due to cost of healthcare and time away from work.” There was clearly an economic justification for the research.

Yet in 2022, researchers reported that “[d]espite robust evidence for efficacy in the preclinical arena, human trials have mixed results.” One hypothesis: the difference in bone size between a small animal and a human.

#scitech, #science, #medicine
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Daily posts, 2022-2023 (281/365)

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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