The goal of this study was to compare home-based rehabilitation with the standard hospital rehabilitation in terms of improving knee joint mobility and recovery of muscle strength and function in patients following a total knee replacement. A non-randomised controlled trial was conducted. Seventy-eight patients with a prosthetic knee were included in the study and assigned to either a home-based or hospital-based rehabilitation programme. Treatment included a variety of exercises to restore strength and joint mobility and to improve patients’ functional capacity. The primary outcome of the trial was the treatment effectiveness measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). The groups did not exhibit significant differences in the leg side (right/left) or clinical characteristics (P > 0.05). Following the intervention, both groups displayed significant improvements (P < 0.001) from the baseline values in the level of pain (visual analogue scale), the range of flexion-extension motion and muscle strength, disability (Barthel and WOMAC indices), balance, and walking.
This study shows that the rehabilitation treatments offered either at home or in hospital settings are of equal efficacy.