Techniques for Stimulating Spinal Fusion: Efficacy of Electricity, Ultrasound, and Biologic Factors in Achieving Fusion

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American Journal of Orthopedics


Many advancements have been made in an attempt to decrease the rate of pseudoarthrosis. Some of these have involved the actual fusion surgery. Fusions with internal fixation devices are able to more effectively eliminate motion during the healing process, thus leading to increased fusion rates. Electrical stimulation and ultrasound were initially developed to aid in fracture healing, but have shown to be efficacious in spinal fusion, as well. Biologic growth factors have long been known to control the bone growth process. These proteins have been identified and isolated for use in augmenting spinal fusion. The discovery of bone morphogenetic protein has great promise in significantly improving fusion rates over the use of either allograft or autograft.

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