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Impact of a new cryotherapy device on early rehabilitation after primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA): a prospective randomised controlled trial

Abstract

Background

The aim of this prospective, randomised and single blinded study was to evaluate the efficiency and safety of a new cryotherapy device in patients undergoing unilateral, primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Our hypothesis was that patients administered to the new cryotherapy device would perform better than patients receiving a conventional standard cold therapy regimen.

Methods

Ninety-seven patients were randomised into two groups receiving either the cTreatment® (new cryotherapy device) or the standard cold therapy protocol (including cold pack application for six days after the surgical intervention). We evaluated the following endpoints consisting of range of motion (ROM), pain intensity, and knee girth on admission day and the second, fourth, and sixth post-operative day (POD).

Results

A statistically significant benefit of the new cryotherapy device was detected regarding the ROM on the sixth POD with an average gain of 7 degrees (p = 0.021). Pain in the numeric rating scale (NRS) score in motion was significantly lower in the cTreatment® group on the second POD (p = 0.034). There were no statistically significant differences between groups regarding the NRS in rest, patient controlled analgesia (PCA) consumption, and girth measurements. No adverse effects were observed in both study groups.

Conclusion

The new computer-controlled cooling therapy device provides benefits in terms of early post-operative remobilisation with respect to ROM and pain, which might be attributed to a reduced inflammatory response, as well as reduced secretion and bleeding. The cTreatment® system appears to be a safe and efficient procedure.

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Funding

The company Waegener provided funds to finance the study nurse who acquired data for this study.

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Correspondence to Gerald Gruber.

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Conflict of interest

MG and RWP have received funding by Waegener®, Belgium and financed study nurses to obtain the data. The remaining authors report no potential conflict of interest.

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Sadoghi, P., Hasenhütl, S., Gruber, G. et al. Impact of a new cryotherapy device on early rehabilitation after primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA): a prospective randomised controlled trial. International Orthopaedics (SICOT) 42, 1265–1273 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-018-3766-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00264-018-3766-5

Keywords

  • Total knee arthroplasty
  • Cryotherapy
  • Fast-track arthroplasty
  • Pain relief
  • Prospective randomised trial