Kadi MR, Hepguler S, Atamaz FC, et al. Is interferential current effective in the management of pain, range of motion, and edema following total knee arthroplasty surgery? A randomized double-blind controlled trial. Clin Rehabil. 2019 Feb 14:269215519829856. doi: 10.1177/0269215519829856. (Original study)

OBJECTIVE:: To investigate the effectiveness of interferential current implementation following total knee arthroplasty surgery.

DESIGN:: Double-blind randomized controlled study.

SETTING:: Orthopedics and traumatology in-patient clinic.

PARTICIPANTS:: From an initial enrollment of 132 patients, 113 who met the study inclusion criteria were randomly separated into two groups: the interferential current group ( n = 57) and the sham current group ( n = 56). A total of 98 patients completed the study: 49 in the interferential current group and 49 in the sham group.

INTERVENTION:: Patients in the interferential current group received interferential current treatment for 30 minutes, twice a day for five days postoperatively. For the patients in the sham interferential current treatment group, the same pads were applied to the patients for the same time periods but no electrical stimulation was applied.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:: Patients were assessed in respect of pain, range of motion (ROM), edema, and the amount of paracetamol used at baseline and on the 5th and 30th days after surgery.

RESULTS:: No significant difference was determined between the groups in respect of pain, ROM, and edema at days 0, 5, and 30. At the end of the 5th day, the amount of paracetamol used was significantly lower in the interferential current group ( P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:: In this study, both groups showed significant improvements in pain, ROM, and edema with no significant difference between the groups. Although there was a significant difference in paracetamol intake of the two groups, this cannot be argued as showing the effectiveness of interferential current.

Discipline Area Score
Physician 5 / 7
Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) 5 / 7
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The paper shows that the issue of pain management is still controversial and there are no clear answers for it yet.
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