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Chirurg. 1996 May;67(5):539-45.

[Intermittent impulse compression. An alternative in therapy of post-traumatic and postoperative edema].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Abteilung für Unfall- und Wiederherstellungschirurgie, Virchow Klinikum, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin.


In patients with foot and ankle trauma, surgery and postoperative mobilization are often delayed because of swelling. The aim of this study was to assess if intermittent impulse compression of the foot is better than the standard therapy of applying cool packs at intervals. For intermittent impulse compression the AV impulse device was used (Novamedix Inc.). From May to November 1993, 40 patients (20 ankle fractures, 8 ruptured ligaments, 6 calcaneal fractures, 4 distal tibial fractures, 1 talus fracture, 1 subtalar dislocation) were prospectively assigned at random to the two groups and treated. After 24 h of treatment, the patients with intermittent impulse compression of the foot showed an average reduction of swelling of 47% around the ankle, midfoot and forefoot. With cryotherapy it was 17%. After 4 days of treatment in the postoperative course the swelling subsided at a rate of 74% with impulse compression and 45% with cryotherapy. Intermittent impulse compression of the foot proved to be a highly effective method of treating post-traumatic and postoperative edema. It seems preferable to the standard therapy using cold packs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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