ESSKA Academy. Gomes Gobbi R. May 11, 2018; 218045; FP24-493
Riccardo Gomes Gobbi
Riccardo Gomes Gobbi
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Objectives: Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs) have been used since the 1970s as an alternative method of pseudoarthrosis treatment. More recently, a patented pulse frequency for bones and soft tissues, termed pulsed signal therapy (PST), was also introduced. PST has been used relatively empirically to treat various diseases, including arthrosis of various joints, spine pain syndromes, tendinopathy, sports injuries and even as an adjunct in rheumatic diseases.

Objective: Evaluate the effect of pulsed signal therapy (PST) on patellofemoral pain syndrome associated with patellar chondropathy.

Methods: Prospective randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial, including 25 patients (41 knees) between 20 and 50 years with pain due to isolated patellar chondropathy confirmed through MRI. The PST group received nine 50-minute daily sessions of PST treatment. The control group received nine 50-minute daily sessions of blinded placebo treatment. The main outcome was improvement in Kujala score for patellofemoral disorders. Hypothesis was that PST treated knees would be better after 3-month follow-up. A 12-month follow-up was planned to check duration of clinical improvement. Kujala score was ascertained before and 3, 6 and 12 months after allocated intervention.

Results: Seventeen knees (5 males and 12 females, mean age 36.7 ± 7.9) received placebo and 24 knees (8 males and 16 females, mean age 35.5 ± 8.9) received PST. By the third month, PST group exhibited a mean improvement of 9.63 ± 7.5 Kujala points, compared to 0.53 ± 1.8 in the placebo group (p<0.001). There was also a significant progressive improvement between pre-treatment and the 3rd month, between the 3rd and 6th and between the 6th and 12th month (p<0.016). With superiority of PST against placebo at 3 months, effective PST treatment was performed for the knees in the placebo group, which also improved at 3 months (p<0.001) and 6 months (p=0.005). No adverse effects were reported.

Conclusions: Pulsed signal therapy in patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome was effective in improving Kujala score compared to placebo 3 months after treatment. Moreover, improvement was progressive up to 12 months of follow-up.

patella; pain; arthralgia; patellofemoral pain syndrome; cartilage; magnetic field therapy; magnetic fields.
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