Secondary outcomes were function measured with the Lequesne knee

Secondary outcomes were function measured with the Lequesne knee questionnaire and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC) questionnaire), health related quality of life (SF-36), energy expenditure during a 6-minute walk test, and consumption of NSAIDs. Results: In total 64 patients were assigned to the intervention (n = 32) and control groups (n = 32), and 59 completed the two month follow-up. Mean differences in pain were 0.8 (95% CI 0.3 to 1.3) at one month follow up and 2.1 (95% CI 1.4 to 2.8) at two months, both in the favour of the intervention group. There were significant differences in favour of the intervention group in Lequesne knee questionnaire,

SF-36 Bodily Pain and Role Physical scores, and consumption of NSAIDs. Conclusion: Use of a cane can diminish pain and improve physical functioning in patients with knee osteoarthritis. [95% CIs calculated by the CAP Editors.] Treatment guidelines in this website osteoarthritis (OA) have for years recommended applying walking aids, based on expert opinion. Walking aids are simple to use, cheap, and easily accessible. This is the first randomised controlled trial published on the effect of cane use for persons with knee OA. The primary outcome pain measured by visual analogue scale was reduced

by 2.1 cm on a 0–10 scale in the experimental group compared to controls after 2 months. This is considered clinically significant Akt inhibitor (Tubech et al 2006) and beyond the minimum clinically important differences (Stauffer et al 2011). We are not familiar with the chi-squared effect size (ES) reported by the trial authors, but the wide confidence interval crosses zero and is not statistically significant, possibly indicating that more patients should have been included. We calculated Cohen’s ES on the difference

SPTLC1 and got 1.9, a large effect compared to other common pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. It is not obvious what caused the large effect, but cane use can influence biomechanics by shifting load from the painful knee to the cane. A systematic review found that using a cane on the contra-lateral side reduced knee adduction moments (KAM) by 7–10% (Simic et al 2011). Since KAM and varus alignment is associated with severity and progression of knee OA, there may be biomechanical components to the relationship between decreased knee joint loading and reduced pain. As the authors acknowledge, only 20% of enrolled patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria, thus weakening the representativeness of the study sample. The presence or paucity of adverse effects was not reported, and a rationale for recommending only outdoor use is lacking. The trial is well conducted, but included a short-term follow-up. More studies and longer follow-up are needed to enable generalisation of results to a larger population.

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