Can Pulsed Shortwave Diathermy be Used Over Surgically-Implanted Metal?

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
David O. Draper EdD, ATC, LAT, FNATA 1
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  • 1 Brigham Young University
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Pulsed shortwave diathermy (PSWD) is an electrical-magnetic modality used for generating thermal effects in tissues. Contemporary practice recommendations indicate PSWD should not be used over tissues surrounding surgically-implanted metal. There is recent evidence to show PSWD is safe over metal implants except looped wires. This study investigated the thermal effects of PSWD over the upper humerus of a patient with a surgically-implanted rod in his humerus and found no posttreatment temperature differences between the rod and surrounding tissue. Based upon this exploratory Clinical CASE Report, PSWD does not heat up surgically-implanted metal when used at 100 watts total power.

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