ScienceDaily reported on Nov. 10 that Arcadia University collaborated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School on a study of knee osteoarthritis, funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. According to new findings, the condition was treated with more than 900,000 total knee replacements in the U.S. in 2011 alone. Dr. Carol Oatis, Professor of Physical Therapy at Arcadia, led the study.
Starting in 2008, researchers at Arcadia University and the University of Massachusetts Medical School reached out to 179 people with knee OA patients who were undergoing total knee replacement surgery, 68 percent of these people were female—with a mean age of 65.1. All the participants wore an accelerometer ankle device to measure walking before surgery, with a mean use of 3.3 days worn. The accelerometer was worn by 174, 163 and 168 participants at least one valid day at baseline, eight weeks and six months after surgery. In addition to patient self-reports and accelerometer information on those patients, the researchers requested and examined physical therapy records of 90 individuals who completed outpatient rehabilitation and 27 who completed their rehabilitation in home-care.
The goal was to analyze how physical therapy might be related to levels of post-operative walking function, says Carol Oatis, PhD, PT, lead investigator in the study and a professor of physical therapy at Arcadia University.
"Our findings demonstrated wide variability in the utilization of physical therapy in these subjects, in the amount of physical therapy, the number of days in physical therapy, and also, wide variability in the kind of physical therapy after surgery," says Oatis.