It may be uncomfortable at first, but doing exercises to strengthen your quadriceps after you've had knee replacement surgery due to osteoarthritis is critical to your recovery. In fact, it can boost the function of your new knee to nearly that of a healthy adult your age.
That's the finding of a University of Delaware study published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research.
The authors include Lynn Snyder-Mackler, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Physical Therapy at the University of Delaware, Stephanie Petterson, clinical faculty at Columbia University, Ryan Mizner, an assistant professor at Eastern Washington University, Jennifer Stevens, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Denver, and Drs. Leo Raisis, Alex Bodenstab, and William Newcomb of First State Orthopaedics in Newark, Delaware.
"It sounds logical that exercises to strengthen your knee should be a component of your post-operative physical therapy after a total knee replacement, but it's not the convention at all," says Snyder-Mackler.
"There are all of these old wives' tales that strength training is a detriment to the patient and that the new knee should be treated delicately," Snyder-Mackler notes. "Our study demonstrates that intensive strength exercise as outpatient therapy is critical to begin three to four weeks after surgery."
Nearly 500,000 knee replacements, also known as total knee arthroplasties, are performed every year in the United States to treat severe knee osteoarthritis, the loss of the cushiony cartilage padding the knee. The joint disease leaves its sufferers with persistent pain and limited function, resulting in an overall diminished quality of life.
While knee replacement alleviates the pain of osteoarthritis and improves function, patients exhibit impaired quadriceps strength and function for such activities as walking and climbing stairs, and the levels remain below those of hea
|Contact: Andrea Boyle|
University of Delaware