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Pre-Op PT Education Speeds Functional Milestones Post TJA

Pre-Op PT Education Speeds Functional Milestones Post TJA
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THURSDAY, Jan. 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A one-time preoperative physical therapy (PT) education session coupled with a web-based microsite (preopPTed) is associated with improved readiness to discharge from PT, but does not impact length of stay (LOS) for patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or total hip arthroplasty (THA), according to a study published in the January issue of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

Rupali Soeters, P.T., Ph.D., from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, and colleagues examined 126 patients who underwent unilateral TKA and THA. All patients attended a preoperative group education class taught by a multidisciplinary team, and were then randomized to receive no further education (63 patients) or to receive preopPTed (63 patients). The preopPTed included a one-time one-on-one session with a physical therapist; after the session, patients were given access to a microsite that provided detailed information relating to exercises, transfers, ambulation, and activities of daily living.

The researchers found that, compared with the control group, the preopPTed group had significantly fewer postoperative inpatient PT visits (mean, 3.3 versus 4.4) and achieved faster readiness to discharge from PT (mean, 1.6 versus 2.7 days). There was no difference between the groups in hospital LOS (2.4 versus 2.6 days). No clinically relevant differences were seen in six-week Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index scores.

“Preoperative PT was successful in improving one of the contributors to LOS and by itself is insufficient to make a difference in LOS,” the authors write.

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