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Electrical Stimulation Could Zap the Need for Physical Therapy Following Knee Replacement
Date:4/7/2013

Monroeville, PA (PRWEB) April 08, 2013

For Patricia Brooks, the tingling of electrical current running through her leg was preferable to the sting of physical therapy following her total knee replacement.

Ms. Brooks, participated in a clinical trial offered at Forbes Regional Hospital to determine whether electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) is as effective as standard physical therapy in helping patients recover from joint replacement surgery.

The stimulator and control groups achieved the same outcomes, but patients who used the stimulators were more satisfied with their experience, according to Michael Levine, MD, the orthopaedic surgeon who served as principal investigator for the study, the results of which were published in the March issue of the Orthopedics medical journal.

“Most patient complaints after knee surgery are about the pain, but patients absolutely hate doing the therapy,” Dr. Levine said. “With this protocol, we’ve eliminated the formal therapy sessions. Patients have to bend and straighten their knee, but there’s no strength training with weights. The stimulator basically does everything for you.”

EMS uses electrical impulses to simulate the body’s natural process of voluntary muscular contractions. When an electrical impulse is applied to the motor nerve, it prompts muscle contraction, resulting in an efficient workout with less risk of injury to joints and tendons and without cardiovascular fatigue.

When she had the option to try EMS in the place of post-surgical physical therapy, Ms. Brooks was all for it. The Forrest Hills resident had her knee replacement in January and didn’t relish
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