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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Non-invasive interactive neurostimulation (InterX ™) reduces acute pain in patients following total knee replacement surgery: a randomised, controlled trial

Ashok K Nigam1, Drena M Taylor1 and Zulia Valeyeva2*

Author Affiliations

1 Prince Philip Hospital, Carmarthenshire NHS Trust, Mawr Dafen, Llanelli, UK

2 InterX Clinic Cheltenham, Maple House, Bayshill Rd, Cheltenham, Glouc, UK

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2011, 6:45  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-6-45

Published: 24 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Adequate post-operative pain relief following total knee replacement (TKR) is very important to optimal post-operative recovery. Faster mobilisation and rehabilitation ultimately results in optimum recovery outcomes, but pain is often the limiting factor. This study evaluates the potential clinical benefit of the InterX neurostimulation device on pain reduction and rehabilitative outcome.

Methods

A clinical trial under the Hywel Dda Clinical Audit Committee to validate the clinical benefit of Non-invasive Interactive Neurostimulation (NIN) therapy using the InterX device was performed in patients undergoing TKR. 61 patients were randomised to treatment groups in blocks of two from the Theatre Operation List. The control group received the standard hospital course of pain medication and rehabilitation twice daily for 3 post-op days. The experimental group received 8 sessions of NIN therapy over 3 post-op days in addition to the standard course received by the Control group. Pain and range of motion were collected as the primary study measures.

Results

Sixty one subjects were enrolled and randomised, but 2 subjects (one/group) were excluded due to missing data at Baseline/Final; one subject in the InterX group was excluded due to pre-existing rheumatoid pain conditions confounding the analysis.

The experimental group pre- to post-session Verbal Rating Scale for pain (VRS) showed that NIN therapy consistently reduced the pain scores by a mean of 2.3 points (SE 0.11). The NIN pre-treatment score at Final was used for the primary ANCOVA comparison, demonstrating a significantly greater cumulative treatment effect of a mean 2.2 (SE 0.49) points pain reduction (p = 0.002). Control subjects only experienced a mean 0.34 (SE 0.49) point decrease in pain. Ninety degrees ROM was required to discharge the patient and this was attained as an average despite the greater Baseline deficit in the InterX group. Eight control patients and three experimental patients did not achieve this ROM.

Conclusions

The results clearly demonstrated the clinical benefit of NIN therapy as a supplement to the standard rehabilitation protocol. The subjects receiving InterX fared significantly better clinically. Within a relatively short 3-day period of time, patients in the experimental group obtained the necessary ROM for discharge and did it experiencing lower levels of pain than those in the control group.