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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.133 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.2016016817
pages 271-276

Efficacy of Combined Magnetic Field Treatment on Spinal Fusion: A Review of the Literature

Mark Phillips
Global Research Solutions, Inc., Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Brian Drew
Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Centre for Evidence-Based Orthopaedics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sheila Sprague
Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; University of Rochester Medical Center, Orthopaedics Department, Rochester, NY
Ilyas Aleem
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota


Spinal fusions place significant burdens on patients, caregivers, and the healthcare system at large. Nonunion is a frequent complication following spinal fusion, often resulting in significant patient pain and morbidity. Bone growth stimulators are an adjunct treatment modality proposed to increase rates of fracture healing. Combined magnetic field (CMF) bone growth stimulators have specifically been shown to increase union rates in patients with spinal fusions. Certain populations, such as the elderly, postmenopausal women, and smokers, have demonstrated a preferentially greater response to CMF treatment. The present review focuses on the mechanism of action, efficacy, cost effectiveness, indications, contraindications, and safety of CMF treatment as an adjunct treatment for spinal fusions. Future large high-quality investigations of adjunct CMF treatment for spine fusion patients focusing on patient-important outcomes are warranted.