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TKR: Ceasing aggressive physical therapy after surgery

Josephine

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TKR: Ceasing aggressive physical therapy after surgery
by duggals2013 August 21, 2013

Total knee replacement (TKR) is an elective surgical procedure performed on patients affected by knee joint diseases, such as end stage osteoarthritis. The demand for TKR in the United States has increased, which increased the demand for optimal results, such as increase range of motion, decrease incidence of infection, etc., after TKR.

Evidence suggests that aggressive physical therapy after TKR, is ideal to obtain full range of motion post-operatively. (Stiffness After Knee Replacement Surgery) yet, as orthopedic surgeons continue to perform TKR, they are finding that this evidence is false.

Patients are unable to achieve full range of motion after aggressive physical therapy because they are causing an inflammatory response in their knee that thickens the soft tissues surrounding the TKR, and decreases the patient’s range of motion.

Surgeons at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) found that patients that do not undergo physical therapy have better outcomes then those that do. HSS instructs patients and physical therapist not to perform aggressive physical therapy after TKR. Yet, they are reluctant to listen to the surgeons’ opinions and believe friends, or old methods, as opposed to being open to new information.

In order to combat this issue, we as public health officials should stop aggressive physical therapy. We can do this by educating physical therapists and patients through social support groups, which would provide experiences from patients who have gone through passive/aggressive physical therapy. Also, we can ask HSS to share their experience and understanding with aggressive physical therapy through seminars/classes, which would help increase awareness.
 
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