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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 24 (10), 901-10

Preoperative Therapeutic Exercise in Frail Elderly Scheduled for Total Hip Replacement: A Randomized Pilot Trial

Randomized Controlled Trial

Preoperative Therapeutic Exercise in Frail Elderly Scheduled for Total Hip Replacement: A Randomized Pilot Trial

Thomas J Hoogeboom et al. Clin Rehabil.


Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and preliminary effectiveness of therapeutic exercise before total hip replacement in frail elderly.

Design: A single-blind, randomized clinical pilot trial.

Setting: Outpatient physiotherapy department.

Subjects: Frail elderly with hip osteoarthritis awaiting total hip replacement.

Interventions: A short (3-6 weeks) tailor-made, therapeutic exercise programme was compared with usual care.

Main measures: Feasibility was assessed through patient satisfaction, adherence, occurrence of adverse events and the number of eligible non-volunteers. Preliminary preoperative effectiveness was assessed with performance and self-reported measures of pain, functioning, physical activity and quality of life. Postoperatively we measured functional recovery and length of hospital stay.

Results: Sixty-two eligible patients were approached of whom 21 (mean age 76 years) agreed to participate. Exercisers (n = 10), rated the intervention as very good 8.9 (8-10) (10-point rating scale). No serious adverse events occurred. Forty-one (66%) eligible patients did not participate, mainly because of logistic considerations, resulting in selection bias. The intervention group (trainings sessions participated 91%) showed relevant preoperative improvements on the chair-rise time (delta -2.9 seconds; 95% confidence interval (CI) -6.2 to 0.4) and timed-up-and-go (delta -4.4 seconds; 95% CI -9.3 to 0.5). Postoperatively, no significant differences were seen.

Conclusions: A short, tailor-made, exercise programme is well tolerated and appreciated in elderly patients awaiting total hip replacement. However, a larger randomized clinical trial in the same setting is not warranted, because of the high number of eligible non-volunteers.

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