Invasive electrical stimulation in the treatment of avascular osteonecrosis of the femoral head — mid-term results


hip joint, electrical stimulation, minimally invasive treatment, avascular necrosis, femoral head

Published online: Jan 08 2024


Department of Orthopaedics, University Medicine Rostock, Doberaner Straße 142, D-18057 Rostock, Germany


The study aimed to evaluate the outcomes of osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) in adults after surgical treatment including invasive electromagnetic osteostimulation (E-Stim). Further, the influence of disease stage and several comorbidities on the joint preservation rate should be examined.

Sixty patients (66 hip joints) with ONFH were included in this retrospective cross-sectional analysis (mean follow-up: 58 months, 19-110 months). Potential ONFH risk factors and comorbidities (ONFH stage, age, sex, alcohol, smoking, cortisone medication, chemotherapy) were recorded. The influence of specific parameters on the joint preservation rates was evaluated by a multivariate logistic regression analysis. Finally, patients with preserved hip joints underwent an assessment of their last available X-rays.

The joint preservation rate depended on the initial ONFH Steinberg stage (I+II: 82.8%, III: 70.8%, ≥ IVa: 38.5%). Initially collapsed ONFH (p ≤ 0.001) and cortisone therapy (p = 0.004) significantly decreased the joint preservation rates. In case of progressed ONFH, the presence of ≥ 2 risk factors resulted in higher THA conversion rates (stage III: OR 18.8; stage ≥IVa: OR 12). In 94% of the available X-rays, the ONFH stage improved or did not progress. No complications could be attributed to the E-Stim device or procedure.

The present surgical protocol including minimally invasive E-Stim revealed high joint preservation rates for non-collapsed ONFH after mid-term postoperative follow-up. Especially in progressed ONFH, the-risk profile seems to be crucial and hence, for joint preserving surgery, careful patient selection is recommended.