Effect of a walking skill training program in patients who have undergone total hip arthroplasty: Followup one year after surgery.
Functional outcomes following hip replacement are generally positive but there are still long-term deficits in walking and strength when compared to their peers. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a post-acute Walking Skill Training Program (WSTP) on measures of strength, endurance, balance, and range of motion.
68 post-op subjects with THA were randomized into control and treatment groups at 3 months post surgery after standard rehabilitation. The control group was given encouragement to exercise and be active. The treatment group received the WSTP. The specific program is described in detail in the article.
The treatment group had significant improvement in the 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), stair climbing test time (ST), figure-of-eight test and active hip extension ROM after the intervention. The improvements in 6MWT and ST sustained at 12 months post-op.
While the study results are encouraging and show the positive effects of addressing the rehabilitation needs of the older adult long-term, the absence of an active control group only shows that the WSTP is better than encouraging older people to be active. The average 52-meter improvement on the 6MWT is clinically significant, but the 2-second significant improvement on the ST is questionably clinically significant.
Future research comparing the WSTP to other rehabilitation strategies would be beneficial. > From: Heiberg et al., Arth Care Res, 64 (2012) 415-423. All Rights Reserved to the American College of Rheumatology.
The Pubmed summary of the article can be found here.
Wan't to read a guideline for the Six-Minute Walk Test?
See the two YouTube clips below for total hip arthroplasty and a 6-minute walk test video.