Additional effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation on knee extension lag, pain and knee range of motion in immediate postsurgical phase (0–2 weeks) in primary total knee arthroplasty patient

Rachana Dabadghav, Amruta Potdar, Vishakha Patil, Parag Sancheti, Ashok Shyam


Background: There are various studies on younger adults which have shown that neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), at sufficient intensities, combined with active exercises had better improvement in muscle strength and functional performance than exercises alone. But very limited research is available for giving NMES in the early acute stages post total knee arthroplasty (TKA). So, the short-term effect of NMES had not yet been researched upon widely. As there were conflicting evidences in giving NMES post TKA, this study was proposed to assess the short-term effect of early NMES on knee joint pain, range of motion (ROM) and extension lag on patients undergoing bilateral TKA.
Methods: The study included 28 bilateral TKA patients following osteoarthritis (OA) knee within the age group of 50–75 years (60.82±5.69). The knees of 28 bilaterally operated patients were randomly divided into two groups; 1 knee was allocated in the experimental group and the other knee of the same patient became the control. The experimental group was given NMES with exercises, while the control group was given only exercises for 7 days. The patients were asked to continue to follow exercises even after the discharge, i.e., beyond 7 days. The patients were measured for pain; knee flexion ROM and extensor lag both before and after intervention.
Results: There was a significant improvement in pain, knee ROM and extensor lag post intervention P<0.05 in both the groups. But there was no significant difference between the groups with respect to pain, knee ROM and extensor lag, P>0.05.
Conclusions: The NMES and exercises worked equally in case of patients operated for TKA. Hence our results concluded that there was no additional effect of NMES on extensor lag, knee ROM and pain when applied for 7 days in patients operated with TKA.