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Technology-Assisted Rehab Perhaps More Effective Than Standard Post-Op Care

by Greg Hirsch

Kinomatic has always had a strong focus on utilizing modern and new technologies to improve patient outcomes after a joint replacement procedure. This extends throughout the entire patient process from imaging through rehabilitation. It is commonly accepted that when patients are more engaged in their rehab they tend to have more successful outcomes. Where traditional rehab tends to take place in a clinical setting at predetermined intervals, technology-based rehab can give the patient more freedom in where and how often they choose to engage in their recovery. This helps increase the sense of ownership and fulfillment when progressing through the recovery process. 

A recent article has evaluated the effectiveness of various telerehabilitation, game, web, or app-based therapy programs following a total knee or hip replacement surgery. The article only focused on patients who underwent elective total knee or total hip arthroplasty and also utilized some form of technology-based rehabilitation. The authors were looking at two key categories when evaluating the efficacy of these methods, pain and function. Secondarily, they also looked at quality of life, adherence, and safety. 

The findings showed consistent evidence that technology-based rehabilitation had a statistically significant improvement in pain for patients who underwent a knee replacement. While the findings still supported improvement in functional ability, the quality of the evidence was less convincing in this category. The evidence regarding efficacy in the total hip replacement group turned up very limited low-quality evidence showing no significant effects or statistical improvements. This is most likely due to the quantity of studies the authors had when compared to the knee replacement study group. 

When it came to the user experience, technology-based rehab resulted in a positive impact on adherence and compliance with the activities and rehab program. Considering the majority of the patients included in the studies were older adults there did not seem to be a significant technological barrier for these patients. Even with no prior experience to using game consoles, most of the patients showed enjoyment and heightened motivation when using the Wii Fit as part of their rehab routine. 86% of these patients stated that they would elect to continue using the video game therapy at home as well. Some of the technological barriers to consider, however, are things such as weak internet connection, the cost of integrating various technological devices, and general lack of familiarity with the technology. The added benefits of integrating and utilizing technology-based rehabilitation methods didn’t really turn up any statistical downsides from a pain or functionality standpoint while increasing patient satisfaction and adherence. 

As more people adopt smart devices more will inevitably choose and rely on game, web, or app-based rehab systems. Kinomatic’s partnership with OneStep gives patients access to a powerful app-based physical therapy platform adding convenience, expertise, and incredible motion analysis technology to every Kinomatic joint replacement patient. 

To learn more about the technology behind Kinomatic’s approach to a total joint replacement procedure visit our Technology Page.

Original Article Credit:

Wang, X., Hunter, D.J., Vesentini, G. et al. Technology-assisted rehabilitation following total knee or hip replacement for people with osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 20, 506 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-019-2900-x

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