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Rivista di Medicina Fisica e Riabilitativa dopo Eventi Patologici

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Europa Medicophysica 1998 March;34(1):17-24

lingua: Inglese

Liquid nitro­gen cryo­ther­a­py ­effect on ­gait and ­pain in sub­jects ­with oste­oar­thritis of the ­knee

Garcia Martin J. 1, Rodriguez Rodriguez L. P. 1, Dankloff Mora C. 2, Rodriguez Torres R. 2, Pascual Gomez F. 1, Gomez Pellico L. 2

1 Departamento de Medicina Física y de Rehabilitácion, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain;
2 Departamento de Ciencias Morfológicas y Cirugía, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Spain


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to establish whether liquid nitrogen cryotherapy modifies pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and influences gait. The ­effects of liq­uid nitro­gen cryo­ther­a­py on 26 sub­jects ­with bilat­er­al oste­oar­thritis of the ­knee ­were inves­ti­gat­ed. Patients ­were treat­ed dai­ly for ­five min­utes for a ­total of 15 ses­sions. Clinical (­joint ­range of ­motion, man­u­al mus­cu­lar ­strength) and anal­ge­sic ­effects of cryo­ther­a­py ­were deter­mined. The ­effects on ­patient mobil­ity ­using bio­me­chan­i­cal tech­niques ­which ana­lyze ­gait ­were ­also eval­u­at­ed.
RESULTS: After treat­ment, clin­i­cal improve­ment in ­knee exten­sion (p<0.05) and quad­ri­ceps ­strength in ­both low­er ­limbs (p<0.01) was ­observed. A reduc­tion in ­pain was ­also detect­ed, cor­re­spond­ing to var­i­ous indi­ces of the McGill Pain Questionnaire (Sensory Pain Rating Index (PRI (R)-S) (p<0.05), Total Pain Rating Index (PRI (R)-T) (p<0.05), Number of Words Chosen (NWC) (p<0.05) and Present Pain Intensity (PPI) (p<0.01). A non-sig­nif­i­cant ten­den­cy to ­improve ­gait var­i­ables at ­three ­speeds (­slow, nor­mal and ­fast), detect­ed ­using ­force plat­forms, was ­observed. Kinetic and kin­e­mat­ic var­i­ables ­showed no dif­fer­enc­es ­after treat­ment ­with the excep­tion of lat­er­al forc­es ­which ­were ­reduced in ­both ­legs dur­ing ­fast ­gait (p<0.05), improv­ing ­patient stabil­ity.
CONCLUSIONS: The ­absence of any sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­enc­es in ­gait var­i­ables fol­low­ing treat­ment sug­gests ­that ­apart ­from a clin­i­cal improve­ment in ­knee exten­sion and quad­ri­ceps ­strength, cryo­ther­a­py may ­induce ­only anal­ge­sic ­effects. These ­effects do not ­seem to be reflect­ed in the bio­me­chan­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of ­gait in ­these ­patients.

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