8 February 2011
Patients who take part in a structured exercise programme prior to undergoing knee replacement surgery experience joint functionality improvements.
According to new research conducted at the University of Louisville, patients with severe knee arthritis can dramatically improve their leg strength by exercising.
Published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the study, led by the university’s Ann Swank and Robert Topp, hinted at the potential post-operative benefits of pre-surgical exercise – including the possibility patients will experience a more rapid recovery following knee replacement or knee arthroscopy.
Dr Topp claimed that the next phase of research into pre-surgical exercise programmes should focus on the potential benefits to both patients and hospitals following surgery.
He wrote: "The next step in this research is to determine whether this comprehensive prehabilitation exercise programme translates to a savings in healthcare dollars.
"For example, reducing the number of days a patient stays in the hospital or reducing the number of physical therapy sessions."
Recently, scientists from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, in Europe, published a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine which linked exercise to increased mobility in osteoarthritis sufferers.
1 Swank, Ann and Topp, Robert et al. “Prehabilitaion Before Total Knee Arthroplasty Increases Strength and Function in Older Adults With Severe Osteoarthritis”. February 2011.
2 Sharma, Leena and Dunlop, Dorothy et al. “Quadriceps Strength and Osteoarthritis Progression in Malaligned and Lax Knees”. Annals of Internal Medicine. April 2003.
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