Effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound on knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Author: Haoqian Chen1,2, Zheng Wang3, Xinan Zhang3, Mingli Sun3
1 Graduate Students' Affairs Department, 66444Shenyang Sport University, Shen-yang, China.
2 Sports Training College, 66444Shenyang Sport University, Shen-yang, China.
3 College of Kinesiology, 66444Shenyang Sport University, Shen-yang, China.
Conference/Journal: Clin Rehabil
Date published: 2022 May 9
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1177/02692155221097035. , Word Count: 233

To systemically review the effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) on pain relief and functional recovery in patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA).

Data sources:
PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) were used from inception to 18 March 2022.

Review methods:
Meta-analysis was performed to evaluate pain and function recovery between control and LIPUS groups. Standardized mean difference (SMD) or mean difference (MD) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated, and data were combined using the fixed or random-effect model.

Thirteen studies involving 807 patients with KOA were included. Patients' outcomes treated by LIPUS were improved significantly, including Visual analog scale (VAS) score (MD = -0.95, 95% CI: -1.43 to -0.48,P < 0.001), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis index (WOMAC) score (MD = -4.35, 95% CI: -8.30 to -0.40, P = 0.0309), Lysholm score (SMD = 1.59, 95% CI: 1.29 to 1.90, P < 0.001), Lequesne index (MD = -1.33, 95% CI: -1.69 to -0.96, P < 0.001), Range of motion (ROM) (MD = 2.43, 95% CI: 0.39 to 4.46, P = 0.0197) and 50 meter walking time (SMD = 1.48, 95% CI: 0.46 to 2.49, P = 0.0044). Subgroup analyses showed monotherapy of LIPUS produced a better effect on reducing VAS score (P = 0.0213), and the shorter therapeutic period (≤4 weeks) produced a more significant effect on raising the WOMAC score (P = 0.0083).

LIPUS was beneficial for pain relief and functional knee recovery and maybe as an alternative therapy in KOA rehabilitation.

Keywords: meta-analysis; Knee osteoarthritis; a systematic review; low-intensity pulsed ultrasound; physical therapy.

PMID: 35535403 DOI: 10.1177/02692155221097035