Objective: One of the major problems of patients after orthopedic surgeries is acute pain. The present study aims to evaluate the effect of foot reflexology massage on postoperative pain in patients undergoing plating surgery for tibia fracture.
Methods: This study is a randomized clinical trial conducted on 96 patients who were candidates for tibia plating surgery referred to Imam Ali Hospital in Bojnourd, Iran, randomly divided into intervention and control groups. Foot reflexology massage in the intervention group was performed on patients’ healthy feet for 10 minutes, one hour before surgery. In the control group, the foot sole was touched for one minute without any pressure. Pain intensity was measured using the standard Visual Analog Scale before and immediately after the intervention and 2, 4, 6, 12 and 24 hours after surgery. Data were analyzed using chi-square test, t-test, repeated measures ANOVA, Mann-Whitney U and Friedman tests.
Results: The baseline pain scores in the intervention and control groups were reported 8.1±0.9 and 8.4±0.9, respectively. After the intervention, the pain score in these groups was reduced to 6.9±1.1 and 8.1±1.0, respectively (P<0.001). At other times, up to 24 hours after surgery, the pain reduction was higher in the intervention group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Foot reflexology massage reduces postoperative pain of patients undergoing tibia plating surgery. Therefore, this method can be used to reduce pain and anxiety in orthopedic surgery patients
Key words: Foot reflexology, Pain, Surgery, Tibia plating, Bone fracture