Joint Replacement Archive


No place like home for knee replacement rehab

In the journals

A study published online March 14, 2017, by The Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that when it comes to speed of recovery after a total knee replacement, a home-based rehabilitation program is as good as rehab that starts with a stay in the hospital.

Researchers randomly assigned people with osteoarthritis undergoing total knee replacement into two groups for 10 weeks of therapy. Those in one group received 10 days of hospital inpatient rehabilitation followed by a clinician-monitored program that they attended two to three times a week for eight weeks. Those in the other group skipped the hospital rehab and went straight into the clinician-monitored program but then progressed to at-home exercises.

Will a knee replacement really make life better?

News briefs

 Image: © Wavebreakmedia/Thinkstock

Many older adults have pain from knee osteoarthritis, a condition in which cartilage in the joints wears away. But when is it time for joint replacement? An observational study published March 28, 2017, in The BMJ suggests that a new knee improves quality of life only in certain cases. The study included over 7,400 middle-age and older adults who already had knee arthritis or were at high risk for the condition. Compared with people who didn't have knee replacement, those who had the surgery during the 26-year study period appeared to have a better quality of life afterward. However, the improvements were minimal, except in people who were less physically functional before the surgery because of more severe arthritis symptoms. The authors suggest that the high costs of knee replacement may be justified only in those who are severely affected by arthritis. What if your symptoms aren't severe? As we reported last month, it may be possible to delay or avoid knee surgery by strengthening your leg and core muscles, losing weight, and improving range of motion.

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