Objective: To develop clinical practice guidelines concerning predictive criteria for transfer of patients to a rehabilitation ward after hip and knee total arthroplasty.
Method: The SOFMER (French Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Society) methodology, associating a systematic literature review, collection of everyday clinical practice, and external review by a multidisciplinary expert panel, was used.
Results: From systematic literature review and collection of French professional practice, we cannot distinguish the patients undergoing THA and TKA who can transfer to a rehabilitation ward. For both types of patients, the main criteria determining transfer are demographic criteria such as older age or female sex; psychosocial and environmental criteria such as living alone, feeling unable to return home directly (pre-operative education could modify this criterion); and surgeon advice based on the pre and post-operative clinical and functional status.
Conclusion: Studies with good methodological quality are urgently needed to evaluate the use of predictive tools such as the RAPT, separating THA and TKA, and using as parameters of assessment functional status and handicap reduction.