Integration of focal vibration and intra-articular oxygen-ozone therapy in rehabilitation of painful knee osteoarthritis

Objective: To examine the pain-reducing effects of intra-articular oxygen-ozone (O2O3) injections and mechanical focal vibration (mFV) versus O2O3 injections alone in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

Methods: Patients with chronic pain (>6 weeks) due to knee osteoarthritis (II-III on the Kellgren-Lawrence scale) were consecutively enrolled and divided into two groups: O2O3 (n = 25) and O2O3-mFV (n = 24). The visual analog scale (VAS), Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), and Medical Research Council (MRC) Manual Muscle Testing scale were administered at baseline (before treatment), after 3 weeks of treatment, and 1 month after the end of treatment. Patients received three once-weekly intra-articular injections of O2O3 into the knee (20 mL O3, 20 μg/mL). The O2O3-mFV group also underwent nine sessions of mFV (three sessions per week).

Results: The VAS score, KOOS, and MRC score were significantly better in the O2O3-mFV than O2O3 group. The within-group analysis showed that all scores improved over time compared with baseline and were maintained even 1 month after treatment. No adverse events occurred.

Conclusion: An integrated rehabilitation protocol involving O2O3 injections and mFV for 3 weeks reduces pain, increases autonomy in daily life activities, and strengthens the quadriceps femoris.

Keywords: Knee osteoarthritis; O2O3; chronic pain; exercise; mechanical focal vibration; oxygen–ozone therapy; rehabilitation.