Treatment using 448 kHz capacitive resistive monopolar radiofrequency improves pain and function in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee joint: A randomised controlled trial
Objective: This study investigated whether capacitive resistive monopolar radiofrequency (CRMRF)-based treatment improves pain and function among patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Design and setting: Three-group randomised controlled trial with concealed allocation, participant blinding and intention-to-treat analysis. Forty-five patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis, from the waiting list for physiotherapy at a local hospital were enrolled. Intervention: Participants in the active and sham groups received eight sessions of CRMRF and sham-CRMRF respectively over four weeks, along with standard care. The control group received standard care only. Assessment: Pain and function were measured at four time points: week zero (baseline), week four (post intervention), week eight and week 16 (two follow-ups) using visual analogue scale (VAS), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index, timed up and go (TUG) test and knee range of motion (ROM). Results: For pain (VAS), there were clinically significant changes in the active group at post treatment compared to sham (effect size: 1.3, 95% CI: 0.29–1.3) and control (effect size: 1.5, 95% CI: 0.32–1.3), and at one-month follow-up compared to control (effect size: 1.1, 95% CI: 0.10–1.3). For function (WOMAC), there was clinically significant change in the active group at post treatment compared to control (effect size: 0.94, 95% CI: 0.02–2.6), but not compared to sham. No meaningful differences were noted for TUG or knee ROM. No differences were noted at three-month follow-up for any outcomes. Conclusion: CRMRF treatment can improve pain and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis in the short term.