Early Low-Level Laser Therapy Improves the Passive Range of Motion and Decreases Pain in Patients with Flexor Tendon Injury.
To obtain the best result from flexor tendon repair surgery, proper surgical technique, appropriate materials, good rehabilitation, and patient satisfaction are essential to consider. Nevertheless, no general unique protocol still exists between researchers, for a suitable treatment plan.
The aim of the present random clinical trial (RCT) was to determine the adjuvant effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on healing tendon injury in patients.
In an RCT, 97 patients (114 fingers) with sharp injury in three zones of their hands were randomly divided into LLLT and control groups, using the unequal treatment allocation approach. Thirty-nine patients (31 males and 8 females, 46 fingers) were enrolled in the LLLT group, receiving 8-10 sessions of LLLT (red and infrared lasers) over the flexor tendon repaired area. In the control group, 58 patients were included, 20 patients did not come back for follow-up, and 38 patients (29 males and 9 females, 46 fingers) participated in the study. Patients were visited in days 28 - 32 after surgery. Passive range of motion (PROM), pain severity of groups, and patient satisfaction from LLLT were all recorded. The two observers, blind to the LLLT group assessed the data independently.
In two groups, no rupture was observed during 4 weeks postsurgery. None of the patients in the control group was able to perform the full passive flexion. There was a significant increase in PROM (t = 82.925, p = 0.000) and a significant pain reduction (t = -11.96, p = 0.000) in the LLLT group, compared with the control group. All Patients in the LLLT group were satisfied.
LLLT is a proper adjuvant therapy in flexor tendon repair. Evidently, LLLT promotes tendon healing, alleviates the pain, and assists flexibility of soft tissue and joints, leading to the tremendous improvement in patient cooperation and compliance.