A new study finds that inpatient rehabilitation seems to offer no overall benefit when compared with a monitored home-based regimen for patients recovering from standard knee replacement surgery, more formally known as “total knee arthroplasty.”
The results of the study were published online earlier this week in JAMA.
The researchers studied 165 adults (older than 40) undergoing single-knee total knee replacement for osteoarthritis. They divided the two groups: one that received 10 days of inpatient rehabilitation followed by an eight-week monitored home program, and the second group that underwent only the home program.
Both approaches for rehabilitation centered upon exercises that incorporated aerobic, muscle-specific and range-of-motion exercises. The researchers also enrolled an additional 87 patients who declined randomization in the home program as an observation group.
The researchers evaluated the two programs by measuring the distance participants could walk on a six-minute test, 26 weeks after surgery. They ultimately found that there was no significant difference in the distance walked between the 2 groups. Postoperative pain and “quality of life” were not significantly different between the groups studied. In addition, the number of complications was greater in the inpatient vs the home group (12 vs. 9).
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