Mobility after knee replacement not improved by inpatient rehab

People with osteoarthritis who undergo knee replacement and participate in an inpatient rehabilitation program are no better off that people who undergo a similar program at home, Australian research shows.

The study led by Justine Naylor from the University of New South Wales, Liverpool, Australia and colleagues randomly assigned 165 patients with osteoarthritis undergoing total knee arthroplasty to 10 days of hospital inpatient rehabilitation followed by an 8-week clinician-monitored home-based program (n = 81) or a home-based program alone (n = 84). Furthermore, 87 patients were assigned to an observational group which included only the home-based program.

According to the results of the study published in JAMA there was no significant difference in the 6-minute walk test, patient reported pain and function or quality of life between the inpatient rehabilitation and either of the two home program groups at 26 weeks.

In the inpatient group 12 patients had post-discharge complications compared to nine patients in the home-based group.

“These findings do not support inpatient rehabilitation for this group of patients,” the authors concluded.

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