Background Therapeutic ultrasound is often used in the treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OS), however, sufficient evidence of its effect is lacking. More scientific evidence is needed to confirm its effect.
Objectives The aim of this work is to determine the effect of ultrasound therapy on pain, stiffness and functional ability of patients with knee OA.
Methods This was randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study of continuous effects of ultrasound on knee OA conducted in out-patients clinic for physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Examination was conducted on 80 patients with knee OA, mean age of 60 years and average duration of clinical difficulties of 8,3 years. Physical therapy (PT) lasted for three weeks. All patients also had thermotherapy and exercises. Additional therapy with continuous ultrasound, with 0,8 W/cm2, that lasted for 5 minutes, was applied to 40 patients (group A) and 50 patients had placebo ultrasound (group B). For objectification of difficulties we used Lekrt’s scale for pain evaluation, and Lequesne index and Womac scale with subscales for pain, stiffness and functional disability evaluation. We measured joint circumference, joint movement, and brute muscle strength with manual muscle test before and after PT. Test- retest examination was conducted.
Results In both group there was significant reduction of pain and improvement of functional ability (p<0, 0001). Difference in pain evaluation before and after treatment was in group A 1,6±0,70, and in group B 1,0±0,71. Reduction in Lequesne index was 4,36±1,75 in group A and 3,43±1.74 in group B. Womac for pain was reduced in group A for 0,83±0.51 and in group B 0,53±0,40; for stiffness in group A 0,83±0,46, and in group B 0,49±0,44; for function in group A 0,61±0,55 and in group B 0,38±0,70. All differences were significantly better in group A. There were no changes in joint circumference and muscle strength was remotly improved; in average for half score in both groups.
Conclusions Therapy with continuous ultrasound in comparison with placebo showed significant efficacy in treatment of knee OA, because it leads to significant reduction of pain, stiffness and improvement of functional status.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared