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April 11, 1980

Electrical stimulation of bone growth wins clinical acceptance

JAMA. 1980;243(14):1401-1403. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300400003001

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The use of electrotherapy to stimulate bone growth in the treatment of nonunited fractures, failed surgical fusions, and congenital pseudoarthroses, long an experimental procedure, has finally come of age.

As was evident from the intense interest in the technique at the recent meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery in Atlanta, the proponents of the technique need no longer endure the scorn of colleagues.

"To put it bluntly," says Carl T. Brighton, MD, PhD, professor and chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, "electricity works. There is a growing interest in this technique. We are just beginning to realize the tremendous promise it holds."

Adds C. Andrew L. Bassett, MD, professor of orthopedic surgery at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, "It is inevitable that slowly but surely there will be less and less bone grafting for