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Accelerated Rehab Improves Hip Replacement Results

Hip joint replacement patients receiving preoperative education, after-surgery rehabilitation and pain control management report better outcomes

FRIDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Minimally invasive joint arthroplasty with accelerated rehabilitation involving enhanced preoperative and postoperative care, results in a smaller incision, less pain and improved patient satisfaction with hip joint replacement, according to a report published in the September issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Aidin Eslam Pour, M.D., and colleagues from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, randomized 100 patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty into four groups to measure the effects of patient education, accelerated rehabilitation and improved pain control on various outcomes. Half of the patients underwent minimally invasive joint replacement and standard joint replacement procedures were performed in the other half.

The researchers found that, regardless of the type of surgery, patients undergoing accelerated preoperative preparation and postoperative rehabilitation had a mean length hospital stay of 3.5 days, walked slightly better and were usually discharged home, compared to 4.2 hospital days for those managed with standard protocols. Those managed with standard protocols also had a slightly higher percentage sent to a skilled rehabilitation facility.

"We found that patients receiving accelerated physical therapy and improved pain control demonstrated better improvement in function, had better satisfaction, and were discharged earlier than those who received standard rehabilitation and postoperative analgesia," the authors write. "The size of the incision did not seem to affect these measured outcomes."

The authors of this study report receiving financial support from Stryker, a manufacturer of prosthetic joints.

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