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J Rehabil Med. 2003 Jul;35(4):174-9.

Recovery after total hip joint arthroplasty in elderly patients with osteoarthritis: positive effect of upper limb interval-training.

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Laboratoire des Sciences du Sport, UFRSTAPS, Bâtiment Bichat, Besançon, France.



To evaluate the influence of an interval training program for the upper limbs on cardiorespiratory fitness and walking ability in elderly patients after total hip joint arthroplasty.


A randomized controlled trial. After surgery, control and training groups started general rehabilitation. Training group combined it with an arm-interval exercise program (3 sessions of 30 minutes per week, for 6 weeks).


Patients were assigned randomly to control (n = 7) and training groups (n = 7).


Incremental exercise tests were carried out until exhaustion on an arm crank ergometer 1 month before and 2 months after surgery. A 6-minute walk test was also performed 2 months after surgery.


VO2 peak increased significantly in the training group (p = 0.0424) and did not change in the control group. The difference in VO2 peak change between the groups was significant (p = 0.0362, +19.2% in the training group and -3.5% in the control group). In the walking test the training group covered a significantly longer distance than did the control group (p = 0.0055, 396.4 metres and 268.1 metres, respectively).


These results stress the importance of physical training in a rehabilitation program after total hip joint arthroplasty and this should be considered for improving the current practices in rehabilitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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