[Purpose] The aim of the present study was to compare the effect of pre-operative and post-operative physical therapy versus post-operative physical therapy alone on pain and recovery of function after total knee arthroplasty. Fifty patients (18 males and 32 females) ranging in age from 48 to 80 years (mean 63.28, SD 9.44) participated in a 6-week two-arm randomized rater-blinded trial. One group received pre- and post-operative physical therapy whereas the other group received only post-operative physical therapy. Pain and function were measured with a visual analogue scale and a lower extremity functional scale at baseline (pre-operative) as well as week 3 and week 6 post-operative. The differences in pain intensity and functional score at week 3 and week 6 post-operative remained statistically insignificant between the two groups.
The reduction of pain and recovery of function was similar in subjects who received pre- and post-operative physical therapy and those who received only post-operative physical therapy after total knee arthroplasty. Additional pre-operative physical therapy did not bring about any further improvement in pain intensity or recovery of function after total knee arthroplasty.