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10 Articles in this Series
Introduction
Barriers to Pain Care
Fast Application Time Seen with Liquid Capsaicin
Intradiscal Injection Helps Relieve Back Pain
Mild Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Increased Knee Pain
Moving Helps Recovery after Total Knee Replacement
New Approach Lessens Side Effects in Spinal Cord Injury Patients
New Hope for CRPS Patients
Once-daily Gabapentin Helps Treat Postherpetic Neuralgia
Preventing Migraine Headaches
Rewiring the Brain Through Imagery

Moving Helps Recovery after Total Knee Replacement

Prescribed exercise helps patients get moving faster following total knee replacement, while poor pain control and older age hamper recovery. This is according to a new study examining whether physical rehabilitation dose (physical therapy and home exercises) affects functional recovery after total knee replacement.

The investigators from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, enrolled 151 patients into the study. Patients underwent knee function tests (extension, extensor lag, flexion, walking speed) on postoperative day 2 and at 6 weeks, and rated their pain.1 Patients were also asked to keep home record logs for 6 weeks, including daily minutes of physical therapy and exercise, as well as other activity like housework or gardening.

Prescribed exercise was significantly higher in weeks 1 through 4, compared to weeks 5 and 6, reported the team. All patients had functional improvement for all tasks (extension, extensor lag, flexion) performed from postoperative day 2 to week 6 (P<0.001). However, improvements in walking speed were positively associated with prescribed rehabilitation dose, especially during weeks 3 and 4 (P<0.01). Pain at week 6 was associated with less improvement for all tasks, and age was associated with poorer walking speed and flexion changes (P>0.01), they noted.

"Our study is the first to examine whether physical rehabilitation dose affects functional recovery after total knee replacement, and shows that dose is important for improvement in function," concluded Jennifer E. Lee, PhD, who led the study.

Reference

  1. Lee JE, Rakel B, Johnston T, et al. Does rehabilitation dose predict functional recovery after total knee replacement? J Pain. 2012;13(4):S94. (abstract #472).
Next summary: New Approach Lessens Side Effects in Spinal Cord Injury Patients
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