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Physios play part in £850,000 bid to improve outcomes for patients after knee replacement surgery

14 October 2013 - 4:15pm

Arthritis Research UK has awarded £850,000 to a team of physiotherapists and surgeons in Scotland in a bid to improve satisfaction rates among people who have had knee replacement surgery.


15,000 patients each year have problems after knee replacement surgery. Photo: Arthritis Research UK

The team is led by Hamish Simpson, a professor of orthopaedics and trauma at the University of Edinburgh and an orthopaedic surgeon at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Professor Simpson’s team will conduct research into the benefits of providing intensive post-operative physiotherapy to people who are predicted to benefit the most from it, according to Arthritis Research UK.

The study will also attempt to highlight which patients are less likely to thrive following knee replacement surgery.

‘Sadly, a colossal 15,000 patients every year are not fully satisfied a year after their operation, so there’s a great need to identify these patients and determine if anything can be done to improve their outcome,’ said Professor Simpson.

‘Currently outpatient physiotherapy is not routine; often patients are given a home exercise package, but there isn’t usually any supervised physiotherapy provided on the NHS. We think if targeted intensive physiotherapy is shown to work, then it is deliverable on the NHS and could help a lot of people.’

Natalie Beswetherick, the CSP’s director of practice and development, welcomed the study. She said: ‘A key measure of success for a knee replacement relates to the patient’s improved quality of life. These studies will leave an important legacy if they identify new ways for the NHS to provide appropriate post-op rehabilitation.’

The medical research charity’s announcement coincided with National Arthritis Week, which was supported by the CSP and ended on 13 October. The society joined the charity’s ‘pledge wall’ and works with it on joint initiatives, such as developing leaflets about arthritis.

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