This site became the new on June 19th. Learn more.
Show more Menu 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... Menu IMPORTANT: Talk with a trusted healthcare professional before volunteering for a study. Read more... Menu
Give us feedback

Electrical Stimulation to Recover Greater Range of Motion After Surgery

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
Université Joseph Fourier Identifier:
First received: March 1, 2010
Last updated: March 5, 2010
Last verified: February 2010


One of the potentially debilitative complications of operative repair and subsequent immobilization is stiffness that appears secondary to inflammation and adhesions. To prevent such a physical impairment, active joint mobilization has shown to be efficient. However, adhesions sometimes remain despite the therapy. Due to the viscoelastic nature of the biological tissues, if a technique can enable to extend the muscle ability to impose a maximal steady stress on adhesions, adhesion deformation should be greater and range of motion deficit should be reduced. Within that context, the purpose of the present study was to assess the real-time effects of superimposed electrical stimulation (SES) on maximal voluntary muscular contraction (VOL) over time and to assess SES effects on range of motion recovery in thumb stiff joint.

Methods and Findings

The aim of the first experiment was to examine the real-time effects of tetanic SES on the maximal volitional level of force over repeated contractions of the triceps brachii muscle. To address this goal, seventeen subjects participated voluntarily in this study. Two features of the muscular force were assessed: The peak force (1) and the impulse (2). These two dependent variables were measured during 500 sec - including 50 maximal force productions of 4 sec each- in two randomized conditions of VOL and SES. When considering the 50 trials as a whole, exerted force was higher in the SES than in the VOL condition for both peak force and impulse (P<.05). Over time, peak force and impulse decreased consistently in VOL starting between the 20th and 30th trials whereas they were maintained in SES condition (P<.05).

The aim of the second experiment was to compare the effects of VOL and SES on the range of flexion recovery of the stiff metacarpophalangeal joint following operative repair of the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb. To address this goal, eight patients participated voluntarily. Range of motion, oedema and pain were assessed before and after the two randomised conditions of VOL and SES.

Condition Intervention
Thumb Joint Stiffness Other: electrically induced muscle activation

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Case-Only
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Official Title: Superimposed Electrical Stimulation Real-time Effects on Repeated Muscle Contractions Enable to Increase Recovery From Thumb Joint Stiffness After Surgery of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament

Further study details as provided by Université Joseph Fourier:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • range of motion [ Time Frame: 1sec after joint mobilization ]
    Active range of motion was measured using a finger goniometer

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • muscle force [ Time Frame: During the muscle contraction ]
    The peak force and the impulse were measured during 500 sec in two randomized conditions of voluntary muscle contraction and electrically induced muscle contraction

Enrollment: 25
Study Start Date: April 2008
Study Completion Date: August 2009
Primary Completion Date: August 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Intervention Details:
    Other: electrically induced muscle activation
    30 Hz frequency, 200 µs pulse duration, and 40% duty cycle (4 sec on, 6 sec off)

Ages Eligible for Study:   20 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Probability Sample
Study Population
Hand physical therapy center

Inclusion Criteria:

  • loss of range of flexion in the involved metacarpophalangeal joint of at least ten degrees when compared to the opposite thumb
  • more than eight weeks post-surgery

Exclusion Criteria:

  • do not meet the inclusion criteria
  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: NCT01082432

Université Joseph Fourier - TIMC IMAG laboratory
La Tronche, France, 38700
Sponsors and Collaborators
Université Joseph Fourier
Study Director: Vincent Nougier, PhD Université Joseph Fourier - TIMC IMAG laboratory
  More Information

Responsible Party: Université Joseph Fourier - TIMC IMAG laboratory Identifier: NCT01082432     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: SES 327
Study First Received: March 1, 2010
Last Updated: March 5, 2010

Keywords provided by Université Joseph Fourier:
Ulnar collateral ligament
superimposed electrical stimulation
adhesions processed this record on September 21, 2017