What is the role of pulsed electromagnetic field stimulation in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA)?

Updated: Oct 12, 2020
  • Author: Carlos J Lozada, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
  • Print

A pulsed electromagnetic field stimulation device (Bionicare) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Pulsed electromagnetic field stimulation is believed to act at the level of articular cartilage by maintaining the proteoglycan composition of chondrocytes through downregulation of its turnover. [131]

A multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled 4-week trial in 78 patients with knee osteoarthritis found improved pain and function in those who were treated with the device. [132] A double-blind, placebo-controlled 3-month trial in 58 patients with moderate-to-severe knee osteoarthritis showed that the use of a highly optimized, capacitively coupled, pulsed electrical stimulus device yielded significant symptomatic and functional improvement. [133]

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!