High frequency transcutaneous electrical stimulation in the immediate postoperative period of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a randomized clinical trial

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Marcelo Baptista Dohnert
Nicole de Oliveira Cardoso Novaski
Juliana Ribeiro Deves
Albertino Rennan de Oliveira Soares
Marcelo Medeiros da Silveira
João Victor Euzébio dos Santos
Paulo Afonso Kuplich
Rodrigo Boff Daitx


Introduction: The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an important structure for knee stability. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is an electrical current applied for significant pain relief. Objective: To evaluate the effects of high-frequency TENS on the immediate postoperative period of ACL reconstruction. Methods: 46 patients in the postoperative period of ACL reconstruction were randomly assigned to a control group (CG=23) and a TENS group (TG=23). Knee range of motion (ROM), pain, muscle strength, and drug intake were assessed before surgery and 24 and 48 hours after surgery. The TENS intervention protocol started in the recovery room, shortly after surgery, and was maintained continuously for the first 48 hours after surgery. Results: The TENS group (TG) significantly controlled the increased level of postoperative pain (p<0.05) and significantly increased flexion ROM (p<0.05). When compared to the Control group (CG), the TENS group had a lower intake of ketoprofen (48.27%), diazepam (256.98%), and dipyrone (121.21%), morphine (320.77%), and tramadol (437.46%). Conclusion: Continuous high-frequency TENS significantly reduced pain intensity and significantly improved ROM, muscle strength, and drug intake in the postoperative period of ACL reconstruction.


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Dohnert, M. B., Novaski, N. de O. C., Deves, J. R., Soares, A. R. de O., Silveira, M. M. da, Santos, J. V. E. dos, Kuplich, P. A., & Daitx, R. B. (2022). High frequency transcutaneous electrical stimulation in the immediate postoperative period of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a randomized clinical trial. ABCS Health Sciences, 47, e022229. https://doi.org/10.7322/abcshs.2021024.1720
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