Effectiveness of pulsed electrical stimulation in the management of osteoarthritis of the knee: Three case reports

R.E. Fary, N.K. Briffa, Tom Briffa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This report examines the symptomatic and functional changes associated with subsensory threshold, pulsed electrical stimulation (PES) treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee in three patients. Two females and one male over age 60, with radiologically diagnosed osteoarthritis of the knee, were treated with PES. The intervention was delivered for eight hours daily at home using a portable, battery-operated unit over 16 weeks. Treatment outcome data were collected at three time points with results plotted for visual examination. Pain, function, patient global assessment, quality of life, global perceived effectiveness, and ambulatory activity levels were measured. The device was well tolerated with adherence levels of 63%, 83%, and 102% of target dose. Perceived global effectiveness of treatment was high for two of the three patients (+3 and +4.5 out of 5), but the third patient reported no change. Scores for pain, global assessment, function, and ambulation were internally consistent with global treatment effect. It is concluded that the PES device was well tolerated, and subsensory PES may provide an effective nonpharmaceutical, noninvasive addition to the management of osteoarthritis of the knee over 16 weeks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-29
JournalPhysiotherapy Theory and Practice: an international journal of physical therapy
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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