Knee op in the pipeline? Do some physiotherapy while you wait experts suggest

knee replacement, knee surgery, knee operation, knee physiotherapy, pain catastrophising, knee arthritis, arthritis digestPain, and overly thinking – catastrophising – about pain means knee replacement operations can be less successful. A good quality home-based physiotherapy programme may be a solution; if people deal with pain better, the success rate of surgery goes up.

So researchers arranged just that for a group of volunteers with osteoporosis who were waiting for knee surgery. The volunteers had moderate-to-severe pain and tended to catastrophise about it. One group had usual care. Another group had pain education, coping skills training and therapeutic exercise. And a third had the same as group two, but with more supervision.

  • Both intervention groups showed significant effects in pain catastrophising and pain reduction;
  • And people with the additional supervision were more likely to stick with the programme.

The findings are great news for people with osteoarthritis, leading to the team concluding that having physiotherapy before knee replacement surgery “is a feasible and effective treatment in reducing pain intensity and pain catastrophising”.

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