The #1 Advantage for THA or TKA Tele-Rehabilitation

New work presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has found that tele-rehabilitation doesn’t have to mean that patients end up back in the hospital.

The study, “Tele-Rehabilitation for Total Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Patients: No Increase in Readmissions,” followed 40 patients who underwent total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) but then, in addition to four to six traditional/face-to-face physical therapy sessions, did rehab sessions at home with an animated avatar called VERA (virtual exercise rehabilitation assistant).

The tele-rehabilitation patient outcomes were compared to 614 patients who were discharged to home and underwent home or outpatient physical therapy following THA or TKA.

The tele-rehabilitation group had essentially the same low 30 day to 90-day readmission rates that were recorded for patients that had traditional home or outpatient physical therapy.

The tele-rehab group had the following readmission statistics—30 day, 2.5% vs. 4.2% (for traditional rehab patients); 90 day, 2.5% vs. 5.7% (traditional).

The researchers also found that there was a near identical rate of emergency department visits at 90 days (tele-rehabilitation, 10%; traditional, 9.8%).

Among the research findings:

  • Patients had high rates of accuracy in performing exercises—93% for the TKA group and 90% for the THA group.
  • None of the TKA tele-rehabilitation patients required manipulation.
  • Cost analysis showed a minimum cost savings of $1,000 with tele-rehabilitation.

By Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed. | Orthopedics This Week

Image Credit: Reflexion Health


About Peter Coffaro 477 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 25 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. Recognized by the World Journal of Orthopedics, Exponential Healthtech, and as one of the top medical sales influencers in the industry; he has 10 years of combined sales management experience and has held positions as a Director, General Manager, Distributor, and Vice President. Peter has worked for some of the top orthopedic companies in the world - Zimmer, DePuy, and Stryker. He is also the founder of OrthoFeed: a popular blog that covers digital orthopedic news and emerging medical technologies. Peter is a three-time Hall of Fame award winner at Johnson and Johnson and has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, digital marketing, and professional education. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Illinois University.

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