Objectives The aim of this randomized prospective single-blinded study was to compare different durations of ultrasound therapeutic acoustic radiation in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Methods A total of 100 patients between the ages of 40-70 years diagnosed with bilateral knee osteoarthritis (OA) in accordance with the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria were enrolled in this study. Patients were randomly divided into two groups. The first group (G1) received 4 minutes of ultrasound therapeutic acoustic radiation delivered at an intensity of 1.5 watts/cm2 and a frequency of 1 MHz. The second group (G2) received the exact same treatment, but the duration of ultrasound therapeutic acoustic radiation was longer at 8 minutes. Moreover, both groups also performed physical therapy and received infrared and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Patients in both groups underwent a total of 10 ultrasound therapeutic acoustic radiation treatments over 2 weeks. Following treatment, all patients provided self-evaluations of pain via the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), overall physical function with the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), disability via the Lequesne index (Leq), and depressive symptoms with the Beck Depression Index (BDI).
Results No statistically significant differences were observed in sociodemographic indicator between both groups (p>0.05). At baseline there were no significant differences in Leq, and BDI values between groups 1 and 2 (p>0.05). After treatment, VAS, WOMAC, Leq, and BDI values improved for both treatment groups. However, following treatment, G2 had significantly greater values for WOMAC functional and total scores than G1. No statistically significant differences were observed for VAS pain scores while inactive, WOMAC pain and stiffness scores, and BDI values after treatment between both groups (p>0.05). VAS pain scores while active and Leq index values were significantly lower in G1 than G2.
Conclusions Patients in both treatment groups demonstrated improved functionality, pain, and psychological status following a consistent, 2-week regimen of 4 minute or 8 minute treatments with ultrasound therapeutic acoustic radiation. Yet, patients that experienced longer treatment durations of 8 minutes demonstrated better outcomes in pain and the ability to carry out activities of daily living.
Disclosure of Interest None declared