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Ultrasound for knee osteoarthritis

 

Clinical bottom line

There is absolutely no evidence that ultrasound therapy is in any way effective for osteoarthritis of the knee.


Reference:

V Welch et al. Therapeutic ultrasound for osteoarthritis of the knee. in: The Cochrane Library, Issue 3, 2001. Oxford: Update Software.

Review

This Cochrane review examined electronic databases, including the Cochrane musculoskeletal group trials register. Searching was up to December 2000.

Results

Three trials were found with 294 patients. There was no difference between ultrasound and placebo, or galvanic current or short wave diathermy for the outcomes of pain and patient-assessed improvement.

Comment

Neither galvanic current or short wave diathermy are exactly rivetingly good therapies, and probably don't work. There is no evidence that ultrasound has any effect whatever. Patients who pay for it are being cheated.