Tidal irrigation as treatment for knee osteoarthritis: a sham-controlled, randomized, double-blinded evaluation

Arthritis Rheum. 2002 Jan;46(1):100-8. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200201)46:1<100::aid-art10037>3.0.co;2-v.


Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of tidal irrigation (TI) in comparison with a well-matched sham irrigation (SI) procedure as a treatment for knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: One hundred eighty subjects with knee OA were randomized to receive TI or SI, with clinical followup over the ensuing 12 months. The primary outcomes of interest were change in pain and function, as measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Subjects and the nurse assessor were blinded, and success of blinding was assessed.

Results: Although the study groups were otherwise comparable, the baseline WOMAC pain and physical functioning scores were higher (worse) in the SI group. After adjustment for baseline, there were no differences between the effects of

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / administration & dosage
  • Debridement / adverse effects
  • Debridement / methods
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gout / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / adverse effects
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods*
  • Treatment Failure


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal