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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004 Dec;52(12):2016-22.

Resistance training in the early postoperative phase reduces hospitalization and leads to muscle hypertrophy in elderly hip surgery patients--a controlled, randomized study.

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Sports Medicine Research Unit, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.



To better understand how immobilization and surgery affect muscle size and function in the elderly and to identify effective training regimes.


A prospective randomized, controlled study.


Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Thirty-six patients (aged 60-86) scheduled for unilateral hip replacement due to primary hip osteoarthrosis.


Patients were randomized to standard home-based rehabilitation (1 h/d x 12 weeks), unilateral neuromuscular electrical stimulation of the operated side (1 h/d x 12 weeks), or unilateral resistance training of the operated side (3/wk x 12 weeks).


Hospital length of stay (LOS), quadriceps muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), isokinetic muscle strength, and functional performance. Patients were tested presurgery and 5 and 12 weeks postsurgery.


Mean+/-standard error LOS was shorter for the resistance training group (10.0+/-2.4 days, P<.05) than for the standard rehabilitation group (16.0+/-7.2 days). Resistance training, but not electrical stimulation or standard rehabilitation, resulted in increased CSA (12%, P<.05) and muscle strength (22-28%, P<.05). Functional muscle performance increased after resistance training (30%, P<.001) and electrical stimulation (15%, P<.05) but not after standard rehabilitation.


Postoperative resistance training effectively increased maximal muscle strength, muscle mass, and muscle function more than a standard rehabilitation regime. Furthermore, it markedly reduced LOS in elderly postoperative patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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