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A Pleasant Sensation Evoked by Knee or Hand Icing Influences the Effect on Pain Intensity in Patients After Total knee Arthroplasty: A Prospective, Randomized, Cross-Over Study

Authors Nishigami T, Nakao S, Kondo H, Oda S, Mibu A

Received 30 January 2019

Accepted for publication 18 November 2019

Published 27 December 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 3469—3475


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Erica Wegrzyn

Tomohiko Nishigami,1 Satoshi Nakao,2 Hiroshi Kondo,3 Shota Oda,3 Akira Mibu1

1Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health and Welfare, Prefectural University of Hiroshima, Hiroshima 723-0053, Japan; 2Department of Rehabilitation, Aihotto Home-Visit Nursing Station Ainan, Ehime 798-4131, Japan; 3Department of Rehabilitation Center, Kochi Medical School Hospital, Kochi 783-8505, Japan

Correspondence: Tomohiko Nishigami
Department of Nursing and Physical Therapy, Konan Woman’s University, 6-2-23, Morikita-machi, Higashinada-ku, Kobe 658-0001, Japan
Tel +81 78 413 3648
Fax +81 78 413 3742

Purpose: Cold therapy on the operated area after surgery is often used as an analgesic and to reduce pain, swelling, and increase range of motion. However, evidence to support the results of cold therapy is still scarce and the mechanism underlying its effectiveness remains unclear. The present study aimed to investigate whether a pleasant sensation evoked by icing the treated knee or a site distant from the treated site (the hand) influenced the acute effect on pain intensity in patients who have undergone total knee arthroplasty (TKA).
Patients and methods: A total of 37 patients with knee OA who underwent TKA were enrolled in this study. This prospective, randomized, cross-over study was performed for 2 days consecutively between days 8 and 15 postoperatively. Cold pack was placed on the anterior surface of the treated knee and palm for 10 mins, respectively. The main primary outcomes were the intensity of knee pain during maximal passive knee flexion.
Results: The two-way ANOVA showed significance only in the main effect of a pleasant sensation (F = 11.3, p = 0.001), but not in the icing site (F = 0.005, p = 0.94) and interaction (F = 0.65, p = 0.42).
Conclusion: This study shows that a pleasant sensation evoked by knee or hand icing influenced the effect on pain intensity during maximal knee flexion in patients after TKA. Even if knee icing has no effect on pain and evokes no pleasant sensation, it may be worthwhile to conduct hand icing to reduce pain.

Keywords: total knee arthroplasty, Icing, pleasant sensation, descending pain inhibition system

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