Can pulsed shortwave diathermy be used over surgically-implanted metal?

David O. Draper, Johanna M. Hoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Deep heat
  • Overheating
  • Range of motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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