What Is Realistic after Total Knee Replacement?How well does the knee work in a healthy aging adult? How does this compare to patients who have a total knee replacement (TKR)? These are the questions investigated in this study by doctors at Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas).
Two groups of people were included in the study. One group (243 adults) had a TKR at least one year ago. The control group (257 adults of the same ages and gender) had no previous knee problems of any kind.
Everyone filled out a survey. Questions were asked about common activities, walking, and exercise. The answers were used to compare activity level and function between the two groups. They found some big differences between the two groups.
About half of the TKR group reported limits on their activities. Only 22 percent of the control group had problems with similar activities such as kneeling, turning, dancing, and gardening. Subjects in both groups could do activities such as swimming and biking equally well. These activities aren't as demanding on the knee as squatting and kneeling.
The authors conclude that adults with no previous knee problems do have limits in what they can do. Even so, it's clear that TKR doesn't completely restore normal knee function. It reduces pain and allows patients to do many routine activities. Patients with TKR generally can't do more demanding activities compared to the control group.
Philip C. Noble, PhD, et al. Does Total Knee Replacement Restore Normal Knee Function? In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. February 2005. Vol. 431. Pp. 157-165.
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