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Exercise plays large role in recovery from knee replacement and the occurrence of osteoarthritis
Date:1/29/2009

Two new studies found that exercise may be a factor in recovering from a total knee replacement (total knee arthroplasty or TKA) and knee osteoarthritis (OA). One study involving a progressive quadriceps strengthening program after total knee replacement found that it enhanced clinical improvement almost to the level of healthy older adults. The other study, the first to examine the relationship between four components of physical activity and the incidence of knee OA in older adults, found that certain types of activities were linked to an increased risk of the disease. The studies were published in the February issue of Arthritis Care & Research (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/77005015/home).

Nearly half a million total knee replacements are performed each year in the U.S. to treat severe knee OA, which is on the rise due to an increase in the elderly and overweight populations. Although knee replacement improves function, patients continue to have impaired quadriceps strength and function for activities such as walking and climbing stairs, which remain below those of healthy people of the same age. Rehabilitation targeting these areas has not been studied well and is not routinely prescribed.

A randomized controlled trial led by Lynn Snyder-Mackler of the University of Delaware and funded by the National Institutes of Health involved 200 patients who had undergone a knee replacement and 41 patients who received conventional standard of care (inpatient rehabilitation and home physical therapy). The 200 patients received six weeks of progressive strength training two or three times a week that targeted knee extension, range of motion, kneecap mobility, quadriceps strength, pain control and gait. Half of this group also received neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES).

The results showed that those who did the strength training program had
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Contact: Sean Wagner
medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.com
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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