Effects of combining manual lymphatic drainage and Kinesiotaping on pain, edema, and range of motion in patients with total knee replacement: a randomized clinical trial

Int J Rehabil Res. 2020 Sep;43(3):240-246. doi: 10.1097/MRR.0000000000000417.


Total knee replacement (TKR) is continuously increasing with significantly faster recovery times. Soft tissue pain and edema of operated limbs play an important role in early functional recovery. The present study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the combination of Kinesiotaping and Lymphatic drainage for the containment of pain and edema as well as the improvement of the range of motion of the knee as integration with standard postoperative rehabilitation. Ninety-nine TKR patients were included in the randomized clinical trial and divided into three groups: Kinesiotaping and Lymphatic drainage Group, Lymphatic drainage Group, and Kinesiotaping Group. The assessment was carried out on days 2-4-6 postoperation. All the patients had also standard reeducation sessions. It was observed that both Kinesiotaping and Lymphatic drainage was useful in reducing pain and edema. A significantly higher improvement was observed in the group in which Lymphatic drainage was associated with Kinesiotaping with respect to the individual treatments, for pain and leg circumference over and under the knee, and at the ankle. Range of motion of the knee did not show any difference since the flexion degree was similar in all the three groups. No difference was found between Kinesiotaping and Lymphatic drainage. In conclusion, the treatment with a combination Kinesiotaping and Lymphatic drainage provided better results on pain and edema observed as early as the first days after the intervention, thus may be considered a valid support for standard rehabilitation and pharmacological intervention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee
  • Athletic Tape
  • Edema / physiopathology
  • Edema / surgery
  • Edema / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Postoperative Period
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Recovery of Function
  • Treatment Outcome