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Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp 2335–2339 | Cite as

Does addition of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in conservative care of knee arthritis successfully postpone the need for joint replacement?

  • David IpEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

The current study evaluates whether the addition of low-level laser therapy into standard conventional physical therapy in elderly with bilateral symptomatic tri-compartmental knee arthritis can successfully postpone the need for joint replacement surgery. A prospective randomized cohort study of 100 consecutive unselected elderly patients with bilateral symptomatic knee arthritis with each knee randomized to receive either treatment protocol A consisting of conventional physical therapy or protocol B which is the same as protocol A with added low-level laser therapy. The mean follow-up was 6 years. Treatment failure was defined as breakthrough pain which necessitated joint replacement surgery. After a follow-up of 6 years, patients clearly benefited from treatment with protocol B as only one knee needed joint replacement surgery, while nine patients treated with protocol A needed surgery (p < 0.05). We conclude low-level laser therapy should be incorporated into standard conservative treatment protocol for symptomatic knee arthritis.

Keywords

Knee pain Osteoarthritis Outcome Laser therapy 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

All elderly who entered the study were made known to the details of the study, signed consent, and agreed to come for periodic follow-up. All patients signed informed consent that they will be treated by low-level laser therapy machines approved by FDA, and that either Protocol A or B will be assigned at random.

Funding

No grants or supports from any company or institution were received for this study.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asia Medical Pain CentreMong KokHong Kong

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