Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Timing of rehabilitation after total knee replacement surgery may hurt patients’ ability to regain and improve function

Date:
November 11, 2012
Source:
American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
Summary:
While more than 900,000 total knee replacement surgeries were performed in the U.S. in 2011 to treat debilitating knee osteoarthritis, the success rate of post-operative functional gains vary widely, according to new research findings.

While more than 900,000 total knee replacement surgeries were performed in the U.S. in 2011 to treat debilitating knee osteoarthritis, the success rate of post-operative functional gains vary widely, according to new research findings presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Knee osteoarthritis is caused by cartilage breakdown in the knee joint. Factors that increase the risk of knee osteoarthritis include obesity, age, prior injury to the knee, extreme stress to the joints, and family history. In 2005, 27 million Americans suffered from osteoarthritis, and one in two people will have symptomatic knee arthritis by age 85.

Starting in 2008, researchers at Arcadia University and the University of Massachusetts Medical School reached out to 179 people with knee OA patients who were undergoing total knee replacement surgery, 68 percent of these people were female -- with a mean age of 65.1. All the participants wore an accelerometer ankle device to measure walking before surgery, with a mean use of 3.3 days worn. The accelerometer was worn by 174, 163 and 168 participants at least one valid day at baseline, eight weeks and six months after surgery. In addition to patient self-reports and accelerometer information on those patients, the researchers requested and examined physical therapy records of 90 individuals who completed outpatient rehabilitation and 27 who completed their rehabilitation in home-care.

The goal was to analyze how physical therapy might be related to levels of post-operative walking function, says Carol Oatis, PhD, PT, lead investigator in the study and a professor of physical therapy at Arcadia University.

"Our findings demonstrated wide variability in the utilization of physical therapy in these subjects, in the amount of physical therapy, the number of days in physical therapy, and also, wide variability in the kind of physical therapy after surgery," says Oatis.

Examination of the accelerometer data showed that participants' average and median daily step counts were approximately 1,000 steps fewer at eight weeks after surgery than they were prior to surgery. At six months after surgery, the mean and median increase in steps from pre-operative levels was only 738 and 354 steps, respectively. However, 30 percent of the participants ended physical therapy after eight weeks and were left to continue their rehabilitation alone, says Oatis. Approximately 40 percent completed their rehabilitation after nine weeks.

"What struck me was that a large percentage of people had been discharged from physical therapy while their physical activity level was still greatly below their preoperative levels," she says. "I thought that was a pretty stunning picture of the relationship between the timing of rehabilitation services and functional activity."

It is unclear what communication or direction physical therapists are giving to patients after total knee replacement, and there is no standardization of postoperative rehabilitation, Oatis notes. "We don't know what physical therapists are saying to patients about what they need to work on after the rehabilitation ends. Many patients have a higher expectation of functional ability following surgery than they actually attain. By recognizing the disconnect, we can be more overt in conversations with patients, and help them focus on physical activity and behavioral goals after surgery."

Funding for this study was provided in part by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American College of Rheumatology (ACR). "Timing of rehabilitation after total knee replacement surgery may hurt patients’ ability to regain and improve function." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121111153604.htm>.
American College of Rheumatology (ACR). (2012, November 11). Timing of rehabilitation after total knee replacement surgery may hurt patients’ ability to regain and improve function. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121111153604.htm
American College of Rheumatology (ACR). "Timing of rehabilitation after total knee replacement surgery may hurt patients’ ability to regain and improve function." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121111153604.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins