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Manual physical therapy and exercise improved function in osteoarthritis of the knee

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 QUESTION: In patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, how effective is manual physical therapy and exercise in decreasing pain and stiffness and increasing function and walking distance?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (outcome assessor),* controlled trial with 1 year follow up.


Outpatient clinic of a US army medical centre in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.


83 patients (mean age 61 y, 59% women) who had osteoarthritis of the knee, no surgical procedure on either lower limb in the previous 6 months, and no physical impairment that would preclude study participation. 69 patients (83%) completed the treatment.


Patients were allocated to manual physical therapy and exercise (n=42) or placebo (ultrasonography at a subtherapeutic intensity) (n=41) given …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Col GD Deyle, Brooke Army Medical Center, 3851 Roger Brooke Drive, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234-6200, USA. Fax +1 210 916 0598.

  • * See glossary.