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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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When I was a kid, they used to say that special Ked sneakers could help you run faster and jump higher. Well, now they have a special device I can rent after knee surgery that's supposed to do the same thing. It's called a Kneehab. How does this work (and does it really work)?

The Kneehab device is a wrap around sleeve that fits over the quadriceps muscle and provides electrical stimulation to help improve muscle contraction. The patient contracts the muscle as much as possible while the unit cycles on. Then the patient (and machine) relax the muscle during the off cycle. The goal is to improve muscle strength and function after surgery. Does it work? Research results are trickling in but so far it looks favorable. The Kneehab unit has three advantages over other types of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) units. First, it is easy to slip on and off. The ease of application makes consistent patient compliance (i.e., use as prescribed) more likely. And third, the electrodes built into the device are larger than standard electrodes. This feature is said to provide greater muscle activation. Studies of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) have shown that adding NMES to patient voluntary muscle contraction does make a difference. One study comparing the Kneehab unit to a standard polystim unit did show faster, better results using the Kneehab after anterior cruciate ligament surgery. Patients in the Kneehab group returned to work a full week sooner than patients in the other two groups (control/rehab only group and Polystim neuromuscular electrical stimulation group). Claims that it can be used to help avoid or delay surgery must be investigated further. Other research ideas have been proposed using the Kneehab neuromuscular electrical stimulation. One is with other types of knee surgery such as knee replacements and another using neuromuscular electrical stimulation combined with a rehab program before knee surgery.


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