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Management of trauma involves long-term bed rest even when muscle strength in the lower extremities is preserved. Prolonged bed rest reduces muscle mass and causes muscle atrophy. A recent study reported the efficacy of rehabilitation using electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) for muscle strength maintenance in intensive care unit patients with disturbance of consciousness. However, despite the expected benefits of EMS in maintaining muscle strength, little is known about its efficacy in trauma patients.
A single-center, open-label, randomized controlled trial of 40 patients with pelvic fracture to test the effectiveness of 14 days of EMS. The primary outcome will be change in cross-sectional area of the thigh muscle between pre and post intervention, as measured on computed tomography images. We will analyze the primary endpoint by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and analyze the secondary endpoints in an exploratory manner.
If our hypothesis is confirmed, this study will provide evidence that the use of EMS can be effective in preventing muscle atrophy.
UMIN registration number: UMIN000030190. Registered on 1 December 2017.