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Patients Do Best after Hip Replacement Surgery by Getting Advice Ahead of Time

Posted on: 08/10/2004
Total hip replacement has become a very popular and successful operation. But some patients are unhappy with the results. The goal of this study was to see if rehab advice before surgery can help patients recover after surgery is done.

Two groups of patients were studied. All had the same type of cemented total hip replacement. One group got the standard care. The other group was given a hip exercise class two to four weeks before the operation. In the class they learned how to do the exercises that would be given after the operation. They also learned how to use a walker or cane and got a special booklet. The booklet gave information about the surgery and answered frequently asked questions.

Results were measured in both groups using pain, function, patient satisfaction, and quality of life. A special test was also used to measure positive and negative mood. This showed the researchers if the patient was positive or negative about life in general.

The authors report that the group with advice before surgery had higher levels of satisfaction at discharge and three months later. Everyone in both groups had better function. The biggest difference between the two groups was length of hospital stay. The advice group left the hospital three days sooner and needed less occupational therapy. The cost savings per patient was about 800 dollars. The cost of the class was 20 dollars per patient.

This study supports the use of advice given before hip joint replacement. Information on what to expect and how to do the rehab exercises before the operation saves money afterwards. Patients have better function and seem happier with the overall results.

Alison H. McGregor, PhD, MCSP, et al. Does Preoperative Hip Rehabilitation Advice Improve Recovery and Patient Satisfaction? In The Journal of Arthroplasty. June 2004. Vol. 19. No. 4. Pp. 464-468.

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