Relative therapeutic efficacy of ketoprofen iontophoresis and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in the management of osteoarthritic knee pains: a pilot study

Olabanji O Jogunola


Background: Osteoarthritis (OA), also known as degenerative joint disease, has no curative treatment. However, pharmacological therapies such as acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and more recently etodolac (iodine) are commonly used in its treatment. Non-pharmacological therapy, predominantly physiotherapy, is also employed in the treatment of OA.

Objective: This research was aimed at determining the relative therapeutic effectiveness of ketoprofen iontophoresis and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in the management of osteoarthritic knee pain.

Methods: Twenty subjects with diagnosis of OA of the knee joint were randomly selected into the ketoprofen iontophoresis group and the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation group. Both groups received quadriceps strength training in addition to their group therapy. Each subject, who had 3 sessions per week over a four-week period, had a total of 12 treatment sessions. Each treatment session lasted 45 minutes.

Results: There was a statistically significant decrease in pain intensity and increase in range of motion in both groups but no significant difference in change in both outcome measures between the groups.

Conclusion: Management of OA of the knee using either ketoprofen iontophoresis or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in addition to quadriceps strengthening exercises in this pilot study was shown to be effective in pain reduction and to increase range of motion. Neither of the interventions was superior. Future studies using a larger sample size are needed to confirm our findings.


Ketoprofen iontophoresis, TENS, Osteoarthritis, and Quadriceps strengthening exercise

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