African Journal of
Health Sciences and Technology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Health Sci. Technol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2805-4202
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHST
  • Start Year: 2019
  • Published Articles: 32

Full Length Research Paper

Effects of Ultrasound Therapy on Pain Intensity of Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis - A systematic Review of Evidence

Nmachukwu Ifeoma Ekechukwu and Echezona Nelson Dominic Ekechukwu
LANCET Physiotherapy, Wellness and Research Centre, Enugu, Nigeria Environmental and Occupational Health Unit, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Department of Medical Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria  
Email: [email protected]

  • Article Number - 3BCBE6268607
  • Vol.1(2), pp. 61-68 , December 2019
  •  Received: 02 August 2019
  •  Accepted: 02 November 2019
  •  Published: 31 December 2019


The knee is the major weight bearing joint of the body. It is therefore expected that the knee more than most joints of the body will be more prone to the development of Ostearthritis (OA). Literature appears unsettled regarding the most preferred treatment parameters and the effects of ultrasound in the management of knee OA. This study systematically reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on the effects of ultrasound in the management of knee OA. Electronic bibliographical databases such as PubMed, Cochrane, PEDro and Google Scholar were searched using MeSH terms and Key terms where applicable. The PICO format was used to define study eligibility while methodological quality of studies was assessed using the PEDro scale. High-quality RCTs with PEDro score ≥7 and large sample sizes ≥70 were considered level 1 evidence while lower-quality RCTs with smaller sample size were considered level 2 evidence. A total of 577 studies were generated from the search strategy; only 5 of the articles met all the inclusion criteria and were selected for this review. About 80% of these studies recruited patients with bilateral knee OA and were aged ≥ 40 years. Most of the studies (80%) had sample size that ranged between 30 and 89 and had fair/good methodological quality.  Based on the PEDro scores and sample size, only one study provided level 1 evidence. The most utilized ultrasound parameter was an intensity ≥1W/cm2, 1MHz frequency, for 5-10mins/session, 5 days/week and for total duration of 2 weeks. Ultrasound at an intensity ≥1W/cm2, 1MHz frequency, for 5-10mins/session, up to 5days/week and for total duration of 2 weeks is effective for the enhancement of functional recovery in patients with knee osteoarthritis
Key words: Ultrasound, Knee Osteoarthritis, Pain Intensity, Functional Recovery, Systematic Review