Strength after Knee Replacement SurgeryArtificial knee joints are being used in younger patients these days. Younger patients are more active. They demand better function and strength after knee replacement surgery. Doctors are trying to understand how much knee strength is possible after a knee replacement. They also want to know what would help patients regain the most strength and function.
This study took a step toward finding answers. The authors tested knee strength in patients who had knee replacement surgery at least two years earlier. The authors also tested knee strength in healthy patients. Strength was tested while bending and straightening the leg. Results showed that patients with a knee replacement had about 30 percent less strength both bending and straightening.
The results also showed that patients over 70 and patients who were heavy generally had less knee strength. Women, who account for most total knee replacements, also had more problems with strength. The authors suggest that therapists work especially hard to find good rehabilitation programs for these groups of patients.
The authors say that many factors may be involved in lowering knee strength after joint replacement. There may be muscle wasting from lack of use, problems with the design of the new knee joint, or problems with surgical techniques. All these factors might work together. Whatever the cause, research such as this can help doctors and therapists plan better rehabilitation for patients who have knee replacement surgery.
Mauricio Silva, MD, et al. Knee Strength after Total Knee Arthroplasty. In The Journal of Arthroplasty. August 2003. Vol. 18. No. 5. Pp. 605-611.
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