Specific details of PT interventions may be key determinants of knee replacement patient’s outcome

In an analysis of 112 records from 30 physical therapy (PT) sites regarding care for patients who had undergone total knee replacement (TKR) surgery, investigators found that the content and amount of specific exercises varied widely. The Arthritis Care & Research study also revealed that the specific details of PT interventions--including kinds of exercise, intensity, and dosage--may be important determinants of the functional outcomes of patients.

The results suggest that evidence-based PT interventions may be under-utilized in clinical practice and that the amount of therapy may be insufficient.

"Without clear evidence for the contributions of post-acute PT following total knee replacement, new reimbursement models establish incentives that can potentially reduce post-acute PT services. Anecdotal data suggests this is already occurring for patients post TKR," said lead author Dr. Carol Oatis, of Arcadia University. "We are using our current results to inform further research to identify PT 'best practice.'"

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