Neuromuscular electrical stimulation improves strength, pain and weight distribution on patients with knee instability post surgery

  • Asakawa, Yasuyoshi (Graduate School of Health Sciences, Guma University) ;
  • Jung, Ji-Hye (Physical Therapy Team, Hangeoleum Rehabilitation Hospital) ;
  • Koh, Si-Eun (Physical Therapy Team, Ilsan High Hospital)
  • Received : 2014.10.23
  • Accepted : 2014.11.30
  • Published : 2014.10.26


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an exercise with and without neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) of the quadriceps femoris muscle, on strength, pain, and weight distribution in patients with knee instability post surgery. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Methods: Twenty patients in the early stage of rehabilitation after knee surgery were recruited as subjects and were randomly divided into either experimental group (exercise combined with NMES) (n=10) or control group (n=10). Both groups received strength training of the lower limb for 20 min/day, 5 days/week for 4 weeks. The experimental group used NMES for unilateral quadriceps femoris training with incremental increases in the intensity of isometric contraction over 4 weeks. Outcome measurements were assessed using the digital manual muscle testing, 30-chair stand test (30CST), numeric pain rating scale (NPRS) and weight distribution using the foot analyzer before and after 4 weeks of training. Results: After the 4-week intervention, knee extensor strength increased significantly in the experimental group post intervention (p<0.05), and there was a significant improvement in the experimental group compared with the control group (p<0.05). The 30CST and NPRS scores improved significantly in the experimental group compared to the control group (p<0.05), and there was a significant difference between the two groups (p<0.05). Weight distribution was significantly improved in the experimental group compared with the control group, (p<0.05), but there was no significant difference in improvement between the two groups. Conclusions: This study showed that NMES combined with strengthening exercises of the lower limbs is effective in improving lower limb pain and strength in patients with instability after knee surgery.


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