Objective: The aim of this study was to test whether fractionated irradiation in photobiomodulation therapy enhances short-term recovery in patients with moderate severity ankle sprain.
Design: Nineteen patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups: one group receiving photobiomodulation therapy combined with the standard rest, icing, compression, and elevation treatment, or a group receiving only standard treatment. Group 1 patients were irradiated using a laser system (635 nm, 15 mW) according to a double-fractionated irradiation scheme consisting of two sessions (4.5 and 9 J/cm) separated by a 30-min time interval. Short-term outcomes (reflectance, pain, and clinical outcomes) were assessed at baseline, 10 days, and 6 wks after treatment.
Results: Reflectance data analysis showed significant changes in group 1 (P = 0.027). There was also an ankle function score improvement more in group 1 than in group 2, with a significant short-term effect (P = 0.011) but without significant long-term effects (P = 0.178). Compared with group 2, group 1 had an immediate effect on pain reduction, but no long-term effect (P = 0.074).
Conclusions: Combined with standard treatment, fractionated irradiation photobiomodulation therapy has been shown to have favorable short-term effects on the recovery of patients with ankle sprains, but its long-term effects should be improved.