Electrical stimulation to accelerate wound healing

Gaurav Thakral, Javier LaFontaine, Bijan Najafi, Talal K. Talal, Paul Kim, Lawrence A. Lavery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Background: There are several applications of electrical stimulation described in medical literature to accelerate wound healing and improve cutaneous perfusion. This is a simple technique that could be incorporated as an adjunctive therapy in plastic surgery. The objective of this review was to evaluate the results of randomized clinical trials that use electrical stimulation for wound healing. Method: We identified 21 randomized clinical trials that used electrical stimulation for wound healing. We did not include five studies with treatment groups with less than eight subjects. Results: Electrical stimulation was associated with faster wound area reduction or a higher proportion of wounds that healed in 14 out of 16 wound randomized clinical trials. The type of electrical stimulation, waveform, and duration of therapy vary in the literature. Conclusion: Electrical stimulation has been shown to accelerate wound healing and increase cutaneous perfusion in human studies. Electrical stimulation is an adjunctive therapy that is underutilized in plastic surgery and could improve flap and graft survival, accelerate postoperative recovery, and decrease necrosis following foot reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDiabetic Foot and Ankle
StatePublished - Sep 16 2013


  • Diabetic foot ulcer
  • Electric stimulation therapy
  • Infection
  • Perfusion
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Podiatry


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