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In patients with severe knee osteoarthritis (OA), total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is performed for both symptom relief and to achieve better function in daily life. Implementation of efficient TKA rehabilitation programs with shorter length of stay (LOS) and reduced medical expenditures is an important issue in clinical practice. However, the effectiveness of preoperative rehabilitation programs is still under debate. Most preoperative rehabilitation programs last many weeks and may be more expensive than TKA. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a simplified, easy-to-learn, and less time-consuming preoperative rehabilitation education program on TKA patients.
Patients and methods
In this randomized controlled study, we allocated all the patients into study and control group according to chart number. The study group, which comprised 126 patients, participated in a 40-min preoperative home rehabilitation education program 4weeks prior to TKA. One hundred seventeen patients in the control group did not participate in this preoperative program.
The study group required a shorter hospital LOS (mean: 7.12days; P=0.027) and had less hospitalization-related medical expenditures (mean: 123726 New Taiwan dollars [NTD], equivalent to 4266.4 United States dollars [USD] or 3022.1 [Euros]), (P=0.001) than the control group. However, the study group showed no significant improvement in function when compared to the control group.
Our study demonstrates that a simplified preoperative rehabilitation program can reduce LOS and increase cost savings. This program was recommended as a routine protocol for OA patients before admission for TKA.
Level of evidence
Level II. Prospective randomized study.
Keywords : Total knee arthroplasty, Knee osteoarthritis, Preoperative rehabilitation, Home rehabilitation, Inpatient