Background: The number of total knee replacements performed each year is increasing. Among the main impediments to functional recovery after these surgeries include postoperative edema, pain, lower limb muscle strength deficits, all of which point to a need to identify safe, effective postoperative rehabilitation modalities.
Aim: The aim of this paper was to evaluate the effectiveness of Kinesio Taping® (KT) method in reducing postoperative pain, edema, and improved knee range of motion recovery after total knee replacement (TKR) operation in early postoperative rehabilitation period.
Design: Randomized clinical trial.
Setting: Inpatient rehabilitation facility.
Population: Ninety-four patients, who underwent primary TKR surgery.
Methods: Using simple randomization, participants were divided into KT group and control group. Both groups received same rehabilitation program and procedures after surgery, except KT group also received KT applications throughout all rehabilitation period. Postoperative pain, edema, restoration of the operated knee flexion and extension were evaluated. The chosen level of significance was P<0.05; in evaluation power of the test β ≤ 0.2. Groups were homogenous to sex, age, BMI, comorbidities, preoperative knee flexion/extension impairment, preoperative pain intensity, anaesthesia, prosthesis implanted (P>0.05).
Results: In both groups postoperative pain decreased significantly during rehabilitation period, however less pain was found in KT group from the second postoperative week till the end of inpatient rehabilitation (28th postoperative day) (P<0.05; β ≤ 0.2). Postoperative edema was less intense and subsided more quickly in KT group as well (P<0.05; β ≤ 0.2). No difference was found in improvement of knee flexion (P>0.05). Operated knee extension was found better in KT group then in control at the end of in-patient rehabilitation (P<0.05; β ≤ 0.2). KT was well tolerated by patients.
Conclusion: KT technique appeared to be beneficial for reducing postoperative pain, edema, improving knee extension in early postoperative rehabilitation period.
Clinical rehabilitation impact: This finding implies for health care professionals working in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation that Kinesio Taping® method is safe and can be used as additional rehabilitation means for patients after TKR.