Try our beta test site
IMPORTANT: Listing of a study on this site does not reflect endorsement by the National Institutes of Health. Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more...

An Intervention of Electrical Stimulation in Osteoarthritis

This study has been completed.
Arthritis Foundation
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Riann Palmieri-Smith, University of Michigan Identifier:
First received: July 10, 2007
Last updated: July 18, 2016
Last verified: July 2016

Patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) often have decreased thigh muscle strength. This muscle weakness is thought to originate from centers in the brain and spinal cord that restrict recruitment of fibers responsible for muscle contraction. An inability to fully contract muscles surrounding the knee joint impairs patients' abilities to perform activities of daily living (i.e. walking, climbing stairs) and may even contribute to further joint degeneration.

Establishing therapies aimed at increasing muscle strength, restoring normal function, and possibly slowing the processes involved in the development of knee OA is essential in order to enhance the quality of life in the adult population plagued with this degenerative joint condition.

Electrical muscle stimulation applied to the thigh is a promising therapy that has been shown to successfully restore muscle strength, however how long the treatment lasts and its influence on functional outcomes remains unknown. In order for electrical muscle stimulation to be of value it must result in sustained improvements in muscle strength and functional outcomes. Therefore, the purpose of the proposed investigation is to determine if electrical muscle stimulation can restore thigh muscle strength and improve functional outcomes in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

Condition Intervention
Device: Electrical Stimulation

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: The Efficacy of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation for Improving Quadriceps Activation in Women With Medial Tibiofemoral Osteoarthritis

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Michigan:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Change From Baseline in Quadriceps Central Activation Ratio at 12 Weeks [ Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks post-intervention ]
    Knee extension Torque recorded during voluntary contraction/Knee extension torque recorded during contraction with superimposed stimulus

  • Change From Baseline in Quadriceps Strength at 12 Weeks [ Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks following the intervention ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Change From Baseline in WOMAC Disability Score at 12 Weeks [ Time Frame: baseline and 12 weeks post-intervention ]
    Womac Disability Score is on a scale from 17 (no functional loss) to 85 (severe functional loss)

  • Change From Baseline in Timed Walking Speed at 12 Weeks [ Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks post-intervention ]
  • Change From Baseline in WOMAC Pain Score at 12 Weeks [ Time Frame: Baseline and 12 weeks following intervention ]
    WOMAC Pain Score ranges from 5 (no pain) to 25 (worst possible pain)

Enrollment: 30
Study Start Date: July 2007
Study Completion Date: August 2009
Primary Completion Date: August 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
No Intervention: No Treatment
No treatment was delivered to this arm. Participants went about activities of daily living
Experimental: Electrical Stimulation
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation treatments 3 times per week for 4 weeks
Device: Electrical Stimulation
Electrical Stimulation (NMES) will be delivered 3 times per week for 4 weeks
Other Name: Vectra Genisys

Detailed Description:
A frequent clinical obstacle encountered in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) is an inability to achieve full voluntary activation of the quadriceps musculature. This phenomenon has been termed arthrogenic muscle inhibition (AMI) and is an ongoing reflex inhibition of musculature surrounding a joint following distension or damage to the structures of that joint. AMI is a limiting factor in joint rehabilitation as it restricts full muscle activation and therefore prevents restoration of strength. Thus, patients often participate in life activities deficient in strength and neuromuscular control resulting in altered lower extremity mechanics and potentially predisposing patients to further joint degeneration. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) has been shown to be successful in reversing quadriceps AMI, however the duration of its effectiveness and its influence on functional outcomes remains elusive. Therefore, the purpose of the proposed study is to examine quadriceps activation and functional outcomes following a 4-week NMES protocol in patients with medial tibiofemoral osteoarthritis. To examine the efficacy of NMES in reversing AMI and improving functional outcomes, 38 subjects will be randomly assigned to either undergo a 4-week NMES program or to undergo no therapeutic intervention. Prior to treatment and at 1, 12, and 24 weeks following treatment, patients' quadriceps central activation ratios will be assessed. Additionally, subjects will undergo gait and stair climb analyses to determine if functional performance during these activities of daily living are improved when compared to the baseline assessment. Patients' perceived level of function will also be tested using the Western Ontario and McMasters Universities Osteoarthritis Index.

Ages Eligible for Study:   50 Years to 62 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • All participants must be female
  • Subjects must have radiographic osteoarthritis of grade 2 severity according to the Kellgren and Lawrence scale on the posterior-anterior semi-flexed view with definite osteophytes present in the medial and not lateral compartment.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Previous adverse reaction to electrical stimulation
  • Inability to ambulate without the use of an assistive device (i.e cane, walker)
  • Patients who have undergone a total knee arthroplasty
  • Patients who have torn any knee ligament (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL)
  • Enrollees who have a demand-type cardiac pacemaker or are pregnant
  • History of tibial osteotomy surgery
  • Significant peripheral or central nervous system disease
  • Concurrent clinically active arthritis of the hip, ankle, hindfoot or midfoot in either limb
  • Concurrent bilateral radiographic evidence of tibiofemoral osteoarthritis
  • Enrollees who are concurrently undergoing physical therapy for pain or OA
  • Enrollees who are taking Cox-2 inhibitors or are receiving corticosteroid injections
  • Subjects will be allowed to take buffered aspirin and naproxen sodium while enrolled in the study
  • Enrollees who have a body mass index of greater than 40 (morbidly obese)
  • Enrollees who have a CAR > .95 (e.g. patients whose quadriceps are uninhibited)
  • Enrollees who have previously undergone quadriceps NMES therapy
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00500448

United States, Michigan
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States, 48109
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Michigan
Arthritis Foundation
Principal Investigator: Riann M Palmieri-Smith, PhD University of Michigan
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Riann Palmieri-Smith, Associate Professor, University of Michigan Identifier: NCT00500448     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1-Palmieri-Smith
Study First Received: July 10, 2007
Results First Received: April 26, 2015
Last Updated: July 18, 2016

Keywords provided by University of Michigan:
Arthritis, Knee, Quadriceps, Electrical Stimulation, Women

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Joint Diseases
Musculoskeletal Diseases
Rheumatic Diseases processed this record on April 28, 2017