Post surgical phone support improves outcome following knee replacement

February 7, 2012, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Poor emotional health and morbid obesity are associated with less functional gain following total knee replacement (TKR) surgery. In the new study, "Can Telephone Support During Post-TKR Rehabilitation Improve Post-op Function: A Randomized Controlled Trial," presented today at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), approximately 180 patients were categorized by gender, body mass index (BMI) and emotional health. Each patient randomly received either emotional telephone support by a trained behavioral specialist, or standard patient care. Telephone support included three phone calls before surgery, one in-person hospital visit, and eight weekly post-operative calls.

Telephone emotional support was well received by all patients. Among high-risk TKR patients, those who received telephone support reported significantly higher post-surgery physical activity and function at six months than those who received standard of care. A tailored, telephone-delivered emotional support program can be helpful in improving activity and function for patients, and especially those at risk for sub-optimal outcome.

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