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Task-oriented exercises and early full weight-bearing contribute to improving disability after total hip replacement

Clinical Rehabilitation: Task-oriented exercises and early full weight-bearing contribute to improving disability after total hip replacementThis randomised controlled trial by Monticone et al. has shown positive effects of undergoing full weight-bearing exercise following total hip replacement.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of an in-hospital programme based on task-oriented exercises associated with early full weight-bearing in patients with multiple comorbidities undergoing total hip replacement.

Subjects: A total of 100 patients (mean age of 69 (8) years; 40 males, 60 females).

Interventions: The experimental group underwent task-oriented exercises and was encouraged to abandon any walking aids by the end of their in-hospital stay. The control group underwent open chain kinetic exercises, and was recommended to use partial weight-bearing and walking aids until three months after surgery. Both groups individually followed programmes of 90-minute sessions five times a week for three weeks.

Outcome measures: Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index, Pain Numerical Rating Scale, Functional Independence Measure, and Short-Form Health Survey. The participants were evaluated before, after training, and after a further 12 months.

Results: There were no significant between-group differences at baseline. After training, a between-group difference of 12 points was found for the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index – functional subscale, indicating a clinically tangible treatment effect on disability. The Functional Independence Measure increased by 31 and 15 points in the experimental and control group, respectively. A linear mixed model revealed significant effects of time, group, and time by group interaction on disability, pain, activities of daily living, and most of the physical quality of life domains.

Conclusion: Task-oriented exercises associated with early full weight-bearing improve disability, pain, activities of daily living, and quality of life after total hip replacement.

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