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Physiotherapy Has Short-term Benefits For Patients After Knee Surgery

Date:
September 27, 2007
Source:
British Medical Journal
Summary:
Physiotherapy can improve the daily lives of patients who have had knee replacement surgery due to osteoarthritis in the short term, according to a new study. Osteoarthritis is the commonest form of disability in older people. Total knee replacement surgery (knee arthroplasty) is a common procedure but even after surgery patients may still experience problems carrying out everyday tasks.
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Physiotherapy can improve the daily lives of patients who have had knee replacement surgery due to osteoarthritis in the short term, according to a study published on the British Medical Journal website.

Osteoarthritis is the commonest form of disability in older people. Total knee replacement surgery (knee arthroplasty) is a common procedure but even after surgery patients may still experience problems carrying out everyday tasks.

At present, it is not clear whether physiotherapy should be routinely provided after discharge from hospital. So researchers reviewed the evidence to determine the effectiveness of physiotherapy after elective surgery in people with osteoarthritis.

Six trials involving 614 patients were included overall in the review. Effectiveness was measured in terms of improving function, quality of life, walking, range of motion in the knee joint, and muscle strength.

The review showed a small to moderate effect of functional exercise on joint motion and quality of life at three to four months after surgery, but the effect was not sustained at one year.

The evidence is not conclusive but, given these results, it seems reasonable to refer patients for a short course of functional physiotherapy exercise after discharge to provide short term benefit, say the authors. These tentative findings also suggest that further research would be worthwhile to reduce the current level of uncertainty.

This review highlights the lack of high quality research into the effectiveness of physiotherapy exercise programmes after total knee replacement, says an accompanying editorial.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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British Medical Journal. "Physiotherapy Has Short-term Benefits For Patients After Knee Surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070924122821.htm>.
British Medical Journal. (2007, September 27). Physiotherapy Has Short-term Benefits For Patients After Knee Surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 7, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070924122821.htm
British Medical Journal. "Physiotherapy Has Short-term Benefits For Patients After Knee Surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070924122821.htm (accessed July 7, 2015).

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