Medical stretching devices are effective in the treatment of knee arthrofibrosis: a systematic review
journal contributionposted on 05.03.2021, 09:22 by Sara Aspinall, Zoe BamberZoe Bamber, Sue HignettSue Hignett, Steven Godsiff, Patrick WheelerPatrick Wheeler, Daniel FongDaniel Fong
This systematic review examines the available evidence on the use of medical stretching devices to treat knee arthrofibrosis, it suggests a focus for future studies addressing limitations in current research and identifies gaps in the published literature to facilitate future works.
Materials and Methods
Articles were identified using the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, PubMed and SCOPUS databases. Articles from peer reviewed journals investigating the effectiveness of medical stretching devices to increase range of movement when treating arthrofibrosis of the knee were included.
A total of 13 studies (558 participants) met the inclusion criteria with the devices falling into the following categories; CPM, load control or displacement control stretching devices. A statistically significant increase in range of movement was demonstrated in CPM, load-control and displacementcontrol studies (p<0.001). The results show that the stretch doses applied using the CPM, load-controldevices were performed over a considerably longer treatment time and involved significantly more additional physiotherapy compared to the displacement-control and patient actuated serial stretching devices.
The systematic review indicates that load-control and displacement-control devices are effective in increasing range of movement in the treatment of knee arthrofibrosis. Displacement-control devices involving patient actuated serial stretching techniques, may be more effective in increasing knee flexion than those utilising static progressive stretch. The paucity of research in this field indicates that more randomised controlled trials are required to investigate the superiority of the different types of displacement-control stretching devices and which of these would be most effective for use in clinical practice and to compare these with standard physiotherapy treatment.
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