Land-based versus pool-based exercise for people awaiting joint replacement surgery of the hip or knee: results of a randomized controlled trial.

Gill SD, McBurney H, Schulz DL.

The objective of this study was to compare the preoperative effects of multidimensional land-based and pool-based exercise programs for people awaiting joint replacement surgery of the hip or knee. Participants awaiting elective hip or knee joint replacement surgery either underwent land-based (n=40) or pool-based exercise program (n=42). Each 6-week program included an education session, twice-weekly exercise classes, and an occupational therapy home assessment. Although both interventions were effective in reducing pain and improving function, there were no post intervention differences between the groups for the primary and secondary outcomes. However, the pool-based group had less pain immediately after the exercise classes.

While our multidimensional exercise-based interventions appeared to be effective in reducing disability in those awaiting joint replacement surgery of the hip or knee, there were no large differences in the post intervention effects of the interventions. However, pool-based exercise appeared to have a more favourable effect on pain immediately after the exercise classes.

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2009 Mar;90(3):388-94.

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