Pre-habilitation before hip or knee replacement surgery (also known as “arthroplasty”) has been recommended in an effort to improve post-operative recovery. “Prehab” typically includes an exercise program aimed at improving physical function through strength, flexibility, and balance exercises. Studies have shown that prehab exercises with Thera-Band® products can improve function in knee osteoarthritis patients (Swank et al. 2011, Topp et al. 2009).
Researchers at Bellarmine University in Louisville Kentucky recently evaluated the effectiveness of an 8-week Thera-Band prehab program on 18 knee osteoarthritis patients at 3 months after total knee replacement surgery. The patients were randomly assigned to the exercise or control groups. The exercise group performed Thera-Band exercises for 8 weeks. View the exercise protocol here. At 3 months after surgery, the patients were evaluated for their quality of life using the SF-36 measurement tool.
Patients receiving prehab exercises had significantly better quality of life in all 8 domains of the SF-36 compared to population norms. The exercise group also had significantly better scores in the physical functioning domain compared to the control group. There were no significant differences in other domains when the exercise and control groups were compared.
Although the researchers acknowledged that the sample size was small, they concluded:
“Knee osteoarthritis patients who engage in exercise prior to total knee arthroplasty report a higher mean general health-related quality of life 3 months following surgery compared to standard population norms.”
REFERENCE: Brown, K et al. 2012. Prehabilitation and quality of life three months after total knee arthroplasty: a pilot study. Perceptual and Motor Skills: Physical Development and Measurement. 155(3):1-10.
Disclosure: This study was supported by Thera-Band Academy