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

the idea of having to trek back and forth to physical therapy classes in the snow and cold. Instead, she was able to do stretches and EMS in the comfort of her own home.

Ms. Brooks was among 35 patients who used a neuromuscular stimulator to work out muscles. A control group of 35 patients underwent two weeks of home-based physical therapy followed by an average of four weeks of outpatient physical therapy.

The therapy, which can be likened to the sensation of a mild bee sting, causes muscles to move and twitch. Ms. Brooks said it also has a massaging effect on her muscles.

“There was some pain involved, but the longer I used it the easier it got,” Ms. Brooks said. “I came home and a few days after surgery I was going up and down steps.”

While EMS is not for everyone and many people benefit from more traditional physical therapy, the equivalent outcomes achieved by the two groups suggest that not all patients require physical therapy following knee replacements, Levine said.

“They need to do something, but not everybody needs to have a therapist work with them,” he said. “If patients are motivated to use this device, the cost savings are incredible.”

A stimulator costs approximately $400. Medicare’s reimbursement rate for a physical therapy session runs around $125 and it’s easy for patients to rack up hefty insurance copayment charges, Levine said.

After her successful surgery and rehabilitation with the stimulator, Ms. Brooks returned to her job as a nurse—working long shifts while standing—in just six weeks. She’s now retired, and is able to enjoy all the activities she loves from babysitting her grandchildren to gardening (while kneeling) to hitting the gym.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/4/prweb10603030.htm.


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