Carpal scaphoid non-union treatment: a retrospective trial comparing simple retrograde percutaneous screw fixation versus percutaneous screw fixation plus pulsed electromagnetic fields (Physiostim®)

  • Alexis Pereira
  • Juan José Hidalgo Díaz
  • Maurise Saur
  • Santiago Salazar Botero
  • Sybille Facca
  • Philippe LiverneauxEmail author
Original Article • WRIST - FRACTURE



The purpose of this retrospective comparative study was to assess whether a complementary treatment by pulsed electromagnetic field could increase the bone-healing rate of scaphoid non-union without SNAC (scaphoid non-union advanced collapse) treated by retrograde percutaneous screw fixation.

Case description

Eighteen patients with scaphoid non-union were included in this retrospective study. The group 1 was made of nine cases (seven stage IIA and two stage IIB) of scaphoid non-union treated by retrograde percutaneous screw fixation and pulsed electromagnetic fields (Physiostim®). The group 2 was made of nine cases (six stage IIA and three stage IIB) treated by simple retrograde percutaneous screw fixation.


With a 10-month follow-up in group 1 and a 9.5-month follow-up in group 2, there were three cases of non-union in group 1 and two cases in group 2. Regarding the type of non-union, there was one case among the stage IIB and four cases among the stage IIA.

Clinical relevance

The results of the study did not show any interest in the use of pulsed electromagnetic field for the treatment of carpal scaphoid non-union. They should be dropped.

Level of evidence



Scaphoid Non-union Electrostimulation Physiostim® Percutaneous screw fixation Pulsed electromagnetic field 



Thanks to Mickaël Schaeffer, Department of Medical IT, Strasbourg University Hospitals, Strasbourg, France, who performed the statistical analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Philippe Liverneaux has conflicts of interest with Newclip Technics, Argomedical, iiN medical. None of the other authors have conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexis Pereira
    • 1
  • Juan José Hidalgo Díaz
    • 1
  • Maurise Saur
    • 1
  • Santiago Salazar Botero
    • 1
  • Sybille Facca
    • 1
  • Philippe Liverneaux
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Hand Surgery Department, SOS Main, CCOM, Strasbourg University Hospital, FMTSStrasbourg UniversityIllkirchFrance

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