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Inpatient rehab vs home recovery following knee surgery

knee surgery

                          Hammond Care

                              South Western Sydney Local Health DistrictUniversity of NSW

South West Sydney Researchers publish interesting findings about rehabilitation following knee surgery

As many as 50,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed annually making it one of the top 10 elective surgeries in Australia.

The costs associated with rehabilitation can be immense with some estimates suggesting that inpatient rehabilitation may cost up to $700 per day.

Researchers in southwest Sydney have investigated rehabilitation outcomes following knee replacement surgery, newly published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A three-year Australian randomised controlled trial examined the costs and outcomes of rehabilitation following knee replacement surgery.

The study compared a group of patients who received a 10-day inpatient rehabilitation program and home-based program with a group of patients who were only provided with a home-based program.

Interestingly, there was no difference in clinical outcomes between the patients who received inpatient rehabilitation and those who did not.

Inpatient rehabilitation, however, may incur costs up to 20 times greater than home-based care.

The research, conducted by Associate Professor Justine Naylor, PhD candidate Mark Buhagiar, Professor Ian Harris, Dr Wei Xuan, Associate Professor Friedbert Kohler, Rachael Wright, and Renee Fortunato, could impact the clinical decision-making of medical staff across the district and around the country.


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For further information about the research, you can read the full article:

Buhagiar MA, Naylor JM, Harris IA, Xuan W, Kohler F, Wright R, Fortunato R. (2017) Effect of inpatient rehabilitation vs a monitored home-based program on mobility in patients with total knee arthroplasty: The HIHO randomized clinical trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 317(10),1037-1046. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.1224

The full text of the new article can be accessed here.


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This collaborative research was conducted by staff associated with the Whitlam Orthopaedic Research Centre at the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, South West Sydney Local Health District, Braeside Hospital (a part of HammondCare) and the South West Sydney Clinical School of The University of New South Wales. Each of the organisations are members of South West Sydney Research.

Do you have collaborative research project that needs funding? Take a look at the South West Sydney Research Small Grant Scheme. Applications for 2017 grants are now open.