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Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Ther Technol. 2012 Feb 7;4(1):5. doi: 10.1186/1758-2555-4-5.

An appraisal of rehabilitation regimes used for improving functional outcome after total hip replacement surgery.

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  • 1School of Medical Sciences (SMS)/School of Sport Health and Exercise Science (SSHES), Bangor University, Penrallt Road, Bangor LL57 2AS, UK.


This study aimed to systematically review the literature with regards to studies of rehabilitation programmes that have tried to improve function after total hip replacement (THR) surgery. 15 randomised controlled trials were identified of which 11 were centre-based, 2 were home based and 2 were trials comparing home and centre based interventions. The use of a progressive resistance training (PRT) programme led to significant improvement in muscle strength and function if the intervention was carried out early (< 1 month following surgery) in a centre (6/11 centre-based studies used PRT), or late (> 1 month following surgery) in a home based setting (2/2 home based studies used PRT). In direct comparison, there was no difference in functional measures between home and centre based programmes (2 studies), with PRT not included in the regimes prescribed. A limitation of the majority of these intervention studies was the short period of follow up. Centre based program delivery is expensive as high costs are associated with supervision, facility provision, and transport of patients. Early interventions are important to counteract the deficit in muscle strength in the affected limb, as well as persistent atrophy that exists around the affected hip at 2 years post-operatively. Studies of early home-based regimes featuring PRT with long term follow up are needed to address the problems currently associated with rehabilitation following THR.

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