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Effectiveness of intensive rehabilitation on functional ability and quality of life after first total knee arthroplasty: a single-blind randomized controlled trial1

      Abstract

      Moffet H, Collet J-P, Shapiro SH, Paradis G, Marquis F, Roy L. Effectiveness of intensive rehabilitation on functional ability and quality of life after first total knee arthroplasty: a single-blind randomized controlled trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2004;85:546–56.

      Objective

      To evaluate the effectiveness of a new intensive functional rehabilitation (IFR) program on functional ability and quality of life (QOL) in persons who underwent a first total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

      Design

      Randomized controlled trial.

      Setting

      Ambulatory care.

      Participants

      Seventy-seven people with knee osteoarthritis.

      Intervention

      Two months after TKA, subjects were randomly assigned to either a group with IFR (n=38), who received 12 supervised rehabilitation sessions combined with exercises at home between months 2 and 4 after TKA, or to a control group (n=39), who received standard care. All participants were evaluated by a blind evaluator at baseline (2mo after TKA), immediately after IFR (2mo later; POST1), and 2 and 8 months later (POST2 and POST3).

      Main outcome measures

      The primary outcome measure with respect to effectiveness was the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) at POST2. Secondary outcome measures were the 6MWT at the other evaluations and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index and Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey.

      Results

      Subjects in the IFR group walked longer distances (range, 23–26m) in 6 minutes at the 3 POST evaluations than subjects in the control group. At POST1 and POST2, they also had less pain, stiffness, and difficulty in performing daily activities. Positive changes in QOL in favor of the IFR were found only at POST2.

      Conclusions

      The IFR was effective in improving the short-term and mid-term functional ability after uncomplicated primary TKA. The magnitude of the IFR effect on the primary outcome was modest but consistent. More intensive rehabilitation should be promoted in the subacute recovery period after TKA, to optimize functional outcomes in the first year after surgery.

      Keywords

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