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Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(12):1034-40. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.629019. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Progressive strength training (10 RM) commenced immediately after fast-track total knee arthroplasty: is it feasible?

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Department of Physical Therapy, Clinical Research Centre and Lundbeck Foundation Centre for Fast-track Hip and Knee Arthroplasty, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark.



To explore the feasibility of progressive strength training commenced immediately after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).


A pilot study was conducted at an outpatient training facility. Fourteen patients with unilateral TKA were included from a fast-track orthopedic arthroplasty unit. They received rehabilitation including progressive strength training of the operated leg (leg press and knee-extension), using relative loads of 10 repetition maximum with three training sessions per week for 2 weeks. Rehabilitation was commenced 1 or 2 days after TKA. At each training session, knee pain, knee joint effusion and training load were recorded. Isometric knee-extension strength and maximal walking speed were measured before the first and last session.


The training load increased progressively (p < 0.0001). Patients experienced only moderate knee pain during the strength training exercises, but knee pain at rest and knee joint effusion (p < 0.0001) were unchanged or decreased over the six training sessions. Isometric knee-extension strength and maximal walking speed increased by 147 and 112%, respectively.


Progressive strength training initiated immediately after TKA seems feasible, and increases knee-extension strength and functional performance without increasing knee joint effusion or knee pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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