Knee osteoarthritis: pneumatic compression tops cold therapy for swelling

  • Pain Res Manag

  • International Clinical Digest
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC)+conventional physical therapy (PT) is superior to cold packs+conventional PT for knee swelling in patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA).
  • The 2 procedures did not differ with respect to 7 other outcomes, including range of motion, muscle strength, and pain.

Why this matters

  • Swelling is the most frequent symptom of KOA.
  • Cold packs can cause skin burns and superficial nerve paralysis.
  • Findings suggest that IPC is a better way to control swelling.

Study design

  • Randomized controlled trial (n=81) of IPC+conventional PT (ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, electrical stimulation, and exercise) vs cold packs+conventional PT, each for 20 sessions over 4 weeks.
  • Knee swelling was measured by tape measure; knee flexion was measured by goniometer; muscle strength was measured by digital dynameter; and pain was measured by visual analog scale+Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC).
  • Funding: Scientific Research Project Committee of University.

Key results

  • IPC group had greater reduction in knee swelling than the cold pack group (mean difference before vs after therapy±standard deviation was −2.60±0.86 vs −0.49±0.92 cm; P=.028).
  • No differences between groups in knee flexion, muscle strength, pain intensity, and WOMAC pain, stiffness, and physical function.

Limitations

  • Single-blind, single-center design.
  • Small sample sizes.

Please confirm your acceptance

To gain full access to GPnotebook please confirm:

By submitting here you confirm that you have accepted Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of GPnotebook.

Submit