Physicians’ Guide: Improve Fusion Outcomes in At-risk Patients
PEMF Bone Growth Stimulation: Non-invasive, adjunct to post-operative care

PEMF Impacts Bone Healing at a Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Level

Spinal fusion is a standard of surgical care for many patients with lumbar or cervical disorders. While surgeons agree that the goal of spinal fusion is solid arthrodesis, this is difficult to achieve in patients at risk for non-union. Orthofix Spinal Fusion Stimulators generate a Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) signal that stimulates bone cell growth at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels creating an environment more conducive to bone healing in patients at risk for a failed spinal fusion.


Within 10 minutes of PEMF exposure, signaling pathways are activated.*

Research on the molecular impact of PEMF demonstrates7-13:

  • Exposure of a bone-forming cell (osteoblast) to PEMF generates an electric field gradient across the cell membrane.
  • Following this activation, bone cells recognize PEMF with an immediate intracellular response.
  • Similar to growth factors (PTH and Insulin); PEMF activates signaling pathways within minutes.
  • These different signaling pathways have been shown to cause cell growth, proliferation, and differentiation (PI3-mTOR-p70-s6).



PEMF stimulates bone cells to proliferate, differentiate, and mineralize.*

Research advances understanding of how PEMF facilitates bone growth at the cellular level9-13:

  • PEMF treatment causes a significant increase in expression for genes involved in proliferation, differentiation, and mineralization.
  • The use of PEMF and BMP-2 together has been documented to have an additive effect on cell growth and proliferation, which suggests each intervention utilizes a separate intracellular signaling pathway.



PEMF has been shown to improve the quality of bone tissue and enhance bone preservation.*

Research documents PEMF’s significant effect on bone tissue.14-15:

  • PEMF increases bone volume and quality.
  • PEMF slows bone resorption in a pre-clinical disuse model.

*PEMF has also been clinically proven to be a safe and effective noninvasive treatment to improve healing rates.16-17

Disclaimer: The results of pre-clinical studies may not be indicative of human clinical trials.

Updated on: 02/21/12

Statement of Indications
Spinal-Stim is a non-invasive electromagnetic bone growth stimulator indicated as an adjunct therapy to increase the probability of fusion success and as a non-operative treatment of salvage of failed spinal fusion, where a minimum of nine months has elapsed since the last surgery.

Cervical-Stim is a non-invasive, pulsed electromagnetic bone growth stimulator indicated as an adjunct therapy to cervical fusion surgery in patients at high-risk for non-union.


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