Changes in posttraumatic ankle joint mobility, pain, and edema following intermittent pneumatic compression therapy

  • Olave Airaksinen
    Reprint requests to Dr. Airaksinen, Department of PM&R, Kuopio University Central Hospital, DF-70201 Kuopio, Finland.
    Department of PM&R, Kuopio University Central Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
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      The changes in posttraumatic ankle joint mobility, pain, and edema following intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) therapy were examined in patients with lower leg fractures after six to 12 weeks of immobilization in a cast. The study group consisted of 22 patients with distal fractures of the lower leg. Each patient was given IPC treatment on five consecutive days for 75 minutes daily. The control group consisted of 12 patients with lower leg fractures who were not given any treatment. Ankle joint mobility in the study group increased by 11.9° (SE = 1.5), but by only 1.0° (SE = 0.8) in the control group. The difference is highly significant (p < 0.001). The study group also experienced markedly greater pain relief than did the control patients. The reduction of edema was 170ml (SE = 23) in the study group and only 15ml (SE = 12) in the control group (p < 0.001). This study suggests that IPC treatment promotes the rehabilitation of the posttraumatic conditions.


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