A study presented during the recent American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting suggests that physical therapy after hip replacement surgery may not be necessary.

The study, “Formal Physical Therapy After Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty May Not Be Necessary,” compared prescribed exercises performed by the patient at home with formal physical therapy received at an outpatient facility.

In the study, 89 total hip replacement surgery patients performed 10 weeks of physical therapy. Of the patients, 48 received two to three weekly physical therapy sessions in outpatient facilities, and 41 patients performed the same exercises on their own at home, at no extra cost, using written instructions and illustrations, a media release from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons explains.

The patients’s progress was assessed at 1 and 6 months after their procedures using standardized tests assessing levels of pain, activity, range of motion, and stiffness. The study found no significant differences between patients in both groups, per the release.

“Most patients can do physical therapy on their own after total hip replacement,” says the study’s senior study author, Matt Austin, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon with the Rothman Institute. “This study also demonstrates how we can more optimally utilize health resources and lower costs.”

[Source(s): American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, PR Newswire]