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MRI Improvement in Necrotic Knee After Use of BioModulator®

By Jarrah Ali Al-Tubaikh, MD

A 71-year-old diabetic, hepatitis-C positive patient presented with a history of right knee osteoarthritis resulting from a fracture that had occurred approximately 20 years ago. On October 24, 2014, the patient limped into the radiology department. The initial MRI images showed severe osteoarthritis, complete cartilage loss in the medial femoral condyle (the lower end of the thigh bone at the knee), osteoarthritic changes, and marked edema (swelling) in the medial femoral condyle, suspiciously like Ahlback’s disease. Ahlback’s disease is the result of vascular arterial insufficiency to the medial femoral condyle of the knee resulting in necrosis (death) and destruction of bone.1 Traditional treatments for Ahlback’s disease are bisphosphonates, a group of drugs that are used in the treatment of osteoporosis and bone malignancies, and/or surgery. Additionally, chronic infections with hepatitis C virus add to age-dependent bone loss and may contribute to lower bone strength in the elderly.

After discussing therapeutic options with the patient, which, in this case, were restricted due to advanced age and deteriorated health, the option of pulsed electromagnetic frequency therapy using Tennant’s Biomodulator with the biotransducer attachment was suggested. Beginning on November 3, 2014, the patient was treated daily for 30 to 45 minutes for one month. During the period of therapy, the patient reported reduction in pain and swelling of the knee and improved ability to walk normally. An MRI scan was repeated in December 2, 2014, to document any differences in the MRI image.

The MRI images showed almost 90% resolution of the medial femoral condyle edema and the normal bone marrow signal returned to almost 90% normal. The lack of significant changes in the tibia is simply because the position of the biotransducer probe was concentrated for the treatment period over the medial femoral condyle region, mainly, the focus of pain”