Second look

Exercise benefits TKA, OA patients
Exercise can help patients recover after total knee arthroplasty (TKA), according to a study published in the Feb. 15, 2009 issue of Arthritis Care & Research. In a randomized controlled trial of 200 patients undergoing primary, unilateral TKA for knee osteoarthritis (OA) and 41 patients eligible for enrollment who served as controls, patients who received 6 weeks of outpatient physical therapy (volitional strength training or volitional strength training with neuromuscular electrical stimulation [NMES]) had better strength, activation, and function than patients in the control group.

Another study in the same publication found that patients with a high mechanical strain score and a low muscle strength score were at greater risk for knee OA. The authors used longitudinal data from 1,678 men and women, age 55–85 years, evaluated over a 12-year period. Risk was calculated after adjustment for age, sex, region of living, education, lifetime physical work demands, lifetime general physical activity, body mass index, current total physical activity level, and depression.

Outpatient surgery becoming more common
A report released by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics shows that the rate of visits to free-standing surgical centers tripled between 1996 and 2006 to 15 million surgeries and other procedures per year. Surgeries at free-standing centers now account for 42 percent of all outpatient operations.

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