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Electromagnetic Treatment For Bone Loss After Forearm Fracture

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00067834
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 1, 2003
Last Update Posted : December 23, 2015
Information provided by:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Brief Summary:
This study will determine the usefulness of pulsing electromagnetic field (PEMF) technology to reverse or reduce the bone loss (osteopenia) that occurs in the forearm after fracture or surgery.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Bone Disease, Metabolic Osteopenia Osteoporosis, Post-Traumatic Device: Pulsing electromagnetic field (PEMF) Phase 1 Phase 2

Detailed Description:

The long-range goal of this research is to develop a new and supplementary local treatment for osteoporosis to reduce the risk of fracture in susceptible individuals. PEMF is a noninvasive method to magnetically introduce a small amount of electrical current to a specific bone region to stimulate bone formation. PEMFs have been used for many years to treat nonunited fractures and enhance spine fusion healing and have been found to improve bone density in animal models of osteoporosis. Such a noninvasive intervention applied to the hip or spine, which are especially associated with high morbidity and mortality in aging individuals, could have a significant national health care impact.

If effective for the treatment of bone loss, PEMF technology may be effective in treating osteoporosis. The primary objective of this pilot study is to determine the feasibility of using PEMFs to reverse or reduce bone loss that occurs with disuse of the forearm after fracture or surgery and to determine the effect of daily treatment duration on efficacy.

Eighty patients who have recently undergone immobilization after hand surgery or after lower forearm fracture will be enrolled in this study. Participants will be randomized to either the PEMF group or a control group. PEMFs will be administered by means of a magnetic coil transducer placed over the treatment site for 1, 2, or 4 hrs/day for 8 weeks, beginning 6 weeks after the initial injury or surgery. A self-contained, battery-powered PEMF coil transducer already FDA-approved for fracture healing in the forearm will be used. Participants in the control group will receive inactive but otherwise identical units and treatment times. Measurements of bone density will be made using DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) and pQCT (peripheral quantitative computer tomography) and compared to baseline. DEXA and pQCT provide planar and cross-sectional x-ray densitometry to determine forearm bone changes. Bone densities (global, cortical, and trabecular), bone cross-sectional structural geometry, and calculated strength index will be measured and compared to baseline values.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Enrollment : 80 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Feasibility and Dosing Study of Bone Density Changes With and Without PEMF Following Immobilization of the Forearm
Study Start Date : November 2003
Actual Study Completion Date : October 2006

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Changes in bone density and geometry relative to baseline in the PEMF treated forearm during the 24 weeks after immobilization, as compared to the same changes in those receiving sham control treatment

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Changes in chemical markers of bone remodeling in the blood of PEMF treated versus sham control subjects
  2. bone density and structural changes in the 24 weeks after immobilization, measured by comparing the treated versus the contralateral forearms in subjects receiving PEMF or sham treatment
  3. influence of age, gender, and other factors

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 80 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria

  • Treatment and immobilization for carpal instability or repair or a lower forearm fracture (Colles' or Smith's) within 6 weeks
  • Intact, normal prior skeletal anatomy and function in both arms

Exclusion Criteria

  • Previous forearm fracture (either arm), orthopedic procedure, or forearm deformity which might affect forearm bone density
  • History of renal disease, liver disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, Cushing's disease, uncontrolled seizures, rheumatoid arthritis, Paget's disease, multiple myeloma, or hypothyroidism
  • Implanted cardiac pacemakers or defibrillators
  • Pregnant
  • Drug therapies within the previous 3 months that could affect bone (e.g., bisphosphonates, estrogen, progesterone, CaF2, calcitonin, steroids, anti-seizure medications)
  • Difficulties complying with the protocol due to physical or mental inability, drug or alcohol abuse, psychosis or dementia, imprisonment, or unavailable for follow-up
  • History of osteoporosis, as defined by a DEXA T-score of more than 2 standard deviations below normal in the hip, spine, or unaffected forearm
  • Prior osteoporotic hip or vertebral fracture

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00067834

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United States, New York
Institute for Human Performance/Upstate Medical University
Syracuse, New York, United States, 13210
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
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Principal Investigator: Joseph A. Spadaro, PhD Upstate Medical University Orthopedic Research Lab
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00067834    
Other Study ID Numbers: N01 AR32267
First Posted: September 1, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 23, 2015
Last Verified: December 2015
Keywords provided by National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS):
Electromagnetic Fields
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Bone Diseases, Metabolic
Bone Diseases
Metabolic Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases