Since 2009, four randomized controlled trials have investigated the use of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) as a treatment modality following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Two of these studies demonstrated a treatment effect of NMES for improving physical function, while another study failed to find additional benefit of NMES relative to a progressive exercise intervention. The fourth study demonstrated non-inferiority of NMES compared supervised physical therapy. These studies differed substantially in their methodology, including the timing, duration, treatment volume and intensity of NMES interventions. The purpose of this review is to examine and discuss variations between these recent trials to synthesize the current state of evidence for NMES in postTKA rehabilitation. When comparing intervention parameters across recent studies, it appears that high intensity NMES performed regularly during the immediate postoperative phase helped to attenuate dramatic losses in quadriceps strength following TKA, thereby resulting in overall improvements in strength and function.
|Number of pages
|European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
|Published - Dec 2013
- Electric stimulation
- Quadriceps muscle