Electrical Stimulation to Recover Greater Range of Motion After Surgery

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01082432
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 8, 2010
Last Update Posted : March 8, 2010
Information provided by:
Université Joseph Fourier

Brief Summary:


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 or disease Intervention/treatment
Thumb Joint Stiffness Other: electrically induced muscle activation

Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 25 participants
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
Study Start Date : April 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2008
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2009

Intervention Details:
  • Other: electrically induced muscle activation
    30 Hz frequency, 200 µs pulse duration, and 40% duty cycle (4 sec on, 6 sec off)

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

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. 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

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Ages Eligible for Study:   20 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
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

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): 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

Responsible Party: Université Joseph Fourier - TIMC IMAG laboratory Identifier: NCT01082432     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: SES 327
First Posted: March 8, 2010    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 8, 2010
Last Verified: February 2010

Keywords provided by Université Joseph Fourier:
Ulnar collateral ligament
superimposed electrical stimulation