Prehabilitation May Not Improve Knee Replacement Results

Prehabilitation Might Not Enhance Knee Substitute Outcomes

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Workouts and training prescribed as prehabilitation earlier than whole knee replacements (TKR) might not considerably enhance the outcomes of the surgical procedure, researchers say.

“This randomized scientific trial discovered no proof that multidisciplinary prehabilitation earlier than TKR for osteoarthritis improves short-term practical independence or reduces midterm exercise limitations after surgical procedure,” write Christelle Nguyen, MD, PhD, Cochin Hospital, College Middle, Paris, and colleagues in JAMA Community Open .

The discovering contradicts earlier analysis and the method adopted by many surgeons who assign weeks of regimens to enhance their sufferers’ well being earlier than working on them.

However the limitations of the examine make its significance exhausting to interpret, stated Bert Mandelbaum, MD, in an interview with Medscape Medical Information. Mandelbaum is professor of orthopedics at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles, California, and crew doctor for the Los Angeles Galaxy skilled soccer membership, and was not concerned within the examine.

Earlier analysis has proven that individuals fare higher after whole knee substitute if they begin out in good well being. And some research have instructed that bodily remedy, train remedy, occupational remedy, and training, both alone or together, can enhance outcomes and shorten hospital keep. However most of those research have had small pattern sizes.

Seeking extra definitive proof, Nguyen et al. recruited — from three French tertiary care facilities — 178 girls and 84 males, with a imply age of 68.6 years, whose osteoarthritis made them candidates for whole knee substitute.

The researchers randomly assigned the sufferers to 2 teams of 131 every. One group obtained customary recommendation on the discretion of their surgeons and an data booklet.

The opposite group obtained the identical data, recommendation, and rehabilitation. As well as, they skilled 4 supervised classes of training and workouts for two weeks beginning 2 months earlier than their knee substitute. The classes consisted of half-hour of training and 60 minutes of workouts. Within the academic classes, they discovered in regards to the constructive results of train remedy, work rehabilitation, social help, weight administration, stress and nervousness, and returning residence.

The train program consisted of muscle strengthening, lower-limb stretching, endurance coaching, proprioception workouts, strolling and steadiness workouts, coaching to carry out 4 practical checks (switch from mendacity to sitting, switch from sitting to standing, strolling 30 meters, and going up and down a flight of stairs), and a home-based program.

The routine did not appear to make a lot distinction. Examined a imply of 4 days after the surgical procedure, solely 34% of the sufferers who underwent prehabilitation had achieved practical independence, outlined as their potential to carry out the 4 practical checks with out assist. That was scarcely higher than the 27% of the management group who attained that consequence; the distinction was not statistically important (P=.15).

At 6 months, the imply space underneath the curve of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) perform subscale was 38.10 mm2 within the group that underwent the experimental program, versus 40.7 mm2 within the management group, a distinction that was additionally not statistically important (P=.31).

The researchers discovered no proof of decreased ache or exercise limitations, improved health-related high quality of life, or elevated variety of steps within the earlier week within the experimental group in contrast with the management group at 6 and 12 months after surgical procedure.

The researchers additionally discovered that the imply prices of the 2 teams have been equal: €15,573 ($20,516) within the experimental group versus €15 987 ($21,061) within the management group.

One doable clarification for the small distinction between the 2 teams may very well be low participation: 33% of the sufferers assigned to the prehabilitation group did not take part, maybe as a result of they’d such extreme arthritis that they discovered the routine burdensome. “Prehabilitation ought to in all probability embrace extra focused modalities than those delivered within the present examine,” the researchers write. “For instance, a preoperative, simplified, home-based rehabilitation training program may signify a extra acceptable resolution on this inhabitants.”

The researchers additionally famous that the effectiveness of whole knee substitute itself may have obscured advantages from the prehabilitation. They usually famous that the data booklet and customary recommendation given to the management group may have improved the outcomes for these sufferers.

That is an necessary consideration, Mandelbaum stated. “So far as I can see, there is no technique to decide what the individuals have been doing or not doing within the management group.”

One other limitation to the examine is that WOMAC scores do not measure exercise ranges above a primary degree, Mandelbaum stated. If some sufferers improved their potential to do extra demanding actions, comparable to mountain climbing, this examine wouldn’t have captured that enchancment, he stated.

Clinicians ought to suggest train regimens to their sufferers earlier than surgical procedure, he stated. “It is simply widespread sense.”

JAMA Community Open. 2022;5(3):e221462. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.1462. Revealed on-line March 9, 2022. Full textual content

Authors reported relationships with Medacata, Grunenthal, Zimmer, Adler, the French Ministry of Well being, and Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique. The examine was funded by the French Ministry of Well being. Mandelbaum reported no related monetary relationships.

Laird Harrison writes about science, well being, and tradition. His work has appeared in nationwide magazines, in newspapers, on public radio, and on web sites. He’s at work on a novel about alternate realities in physics. Harrison teaches writing on the Writers Grotto. Go to him at or comply with him on Twitter: @LairdH.

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