An estimated 720,000 total knee arthroplasties (TKA) are performed annually in the United States. The estimated cost of a TKA and associated post operative care is $57,000. Effective rehabilitation in the acute/subacute post-operative phase is critical for maximizing patients’ functional potential and reducing the time and cost spent on rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to compare a Pilates-based rehabilitation program and conventional physical therapy (PT) following a TKA.
Forty-nine patients (17M, 32F), average age 69.7 years, participated in this comparative effectiveness study. Individuals with referrals to PT within six weeks of a TKA were included. All data collection took place in three outpatient clinics where participants received conventional or Pilates-based PT. Knee Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), Timed Up and Go (TUG) test and Two Minute Walk Test were assessed upon evaluation, at each progress note and last appointment.
A linear mixed model found both groups showed improvements in all outcome measures, with no significant differences between groups. The average changes in KOOS Function in Daily Living score, TUG time and 2MWT distance for the Pilates group were 16.2 points, 4.9 seconds and 135.5 feet, respectively. The average changes in scores for the conventional PT group were 13.3 points, five seconds and 201.3 feet, respectively.
Traditional based PT and Pilates based PT are equally successful methods of treating those who underwent TKA. The optimal treatment strategies may depend on patient preference.