The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) for treatment of knee osteoarthritis (OA) using a systemic review and meta-analysis.
An extensive search of relevant articles from electronic databases Pubmed, Embase, and Cochrane Library from inception to March 2019 was conducted. The treatment outcomes (visual analog scale [VAS] and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index [WOMAC]) of the included articles were pooled to calculate effect sizes. The assessment of heterogeneity among articles was evaluated using I2. Statistical analyses were conducted using RevMan software.
The results showed that the ESWT group had significant improvement in pain relief compared with the control group through 12 months based on WOMAC and VAS scores. Compared with the baseline level, the patients had significant improvement in pain relief at most follow-up points (one week to 12 months) based on WOMAC and VAS scores. The patients showed significant improvement in physical function at six- and 12-month follow-up when compared with the control group and for all follow-up (one to 12 months) when compared with the baseline level. Additionally, only minor complications were observed after ESWT treatment.
The use of ESWT for treatment of knee OA had a beneficial effect on pain relief and physical function improvement for up to 12 months, and only minor complications occurred after ESWT treatment. However, there remains a lack of clarity regarding the frequency and dosage levels of ESWT required to achieve the maximum improvement.
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- Department of Orthopedics, Kaohsiung Municipal Ta-Tung Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
- Department of Orthopedics, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
- Department of Orthopedics, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.