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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL AND REHABILITATION MEDICINE

A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
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REVIEWS  EFFECTIVENESS OF PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND NEUROMUSCULAR ELECTRICAL STIMULATION AFTER KNEE AND HIP ARTHROPLASTY: LESSONS FROM CONTROLLED CLINICAL TRIALS


European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2013 December;49(6):877-92

language: English

Physical exercise after knee arthroplasty: a systematic review of controlled trials

Pozzi F., Snyder-Mackler L., Zeni J.

Department of Physical Therapy University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA


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Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is the gold standard treatment for end-stage knee osteoarthritis. Most patients report successful long-term outcomes and reduced pain after TKA, but recovery is variable and the majority of patients continue to demonstrate lower extremity muscle weakness and functional deficits compared to age-matched control subjects. Given the potential positive influence of postoperative rehabilitation and the lack of established standards for prescribing exercise paradigms after TKA, the purpose of this study was to systematically review randomized, controlled studies to determine the effectiveness of postoperative outpatient care on short- and long-term functional recovery. Nineteen studies were identified as highly relevant for the review and four categories of postoperative intervention were discussed: 1) strengthening exercises; 2) aquatic therapy; 3) balance training; and 4) clinical environment. Optimal outpatient physical therapy protocols should include: strengthening and intensive functional exercises given through land-based or aquatic programs, the intensity of which is increased based on patient progress. Due to the highly individualized characteristics of these types of exercises, outpatient physical therapy performed in a clinic under the supervision of a trained physical therapist may provide the best long-term outcomes after the surgery. Supervised or remotely supervised therapy may be effective at reducing some of the impairments following TKA, but several studies without direct oversight produced poor results. Most studies did not accurately describe the “usual care” or control groups and information about the dose, frequency, intensity and duration of the rehabilitation protocols were lacking from several studies.

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jzenijr@udel.edu