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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Prospective, Single-Center Comparison of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Plus Electroacupuncture and Standard Analgesia in Patients After Total Knee Arthroplasty: Effect on Rehabilitation and Functional Recovery

Xuejing Li, Wei Yu, Hongbo Li, Baoyue Wang, Jiang Xu

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, The Affiliated Huai’an Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University and the Second People’s Hospital of Huai’an, Huai’an, Jiangsu, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2021; 27:e930363

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.930363

Available online: 2021-03-11

Published: 2021-06-09


BACKGROUND: The aim of this prospective study was to compare transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) plus electroacupuncture with standard analgesia in patients after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) to determine the effects on rehabilitation and functional recovery.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Eighty patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who underwent TKA were included in the study. They were divided into experimental (n=40) and control groups (n=40) according to postoperative analgesia method. The control group received multimodal analgesia after TKA and the experimental group received additional tDCS plus electroacupuncture. Postoperative pain, knee function, and quality of life were compared between the 2 groups.
RESULTS: Compared with the control group, the experimental group had significantly lower visual analog scale scores at 3 and 7 days and 3 and 6 weeks after TKA (P<0.05). At 6 weeks after TKA, knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome and Hospital for Special Surgery scores and maximum knee flexion in the experimental group were significantly better than those in the control group (P<0.05). In the experimental group compared with the control group, the Short Form-36 Health Survey score also was significantly increased (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study showed that tDCS plus electroacupuncture effectively reduced pain after TKA and improved rehabilitation and functional recovery.

Keywords: Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, chronic pain, Electroacupuncture, Rehabilitation, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation