Tag Archives: joint replacement

Can Activity Trackers Assist with Recovery After Knee or Hip Arthroplasty?

activitytrackerCommercial wrist-worn activity monitors, like those by Fitbit, the Apple Watch or Garmin, have the potential to accurately assess activity levels and have been gaining popularity in the last few years. In a 2018 study published in The Journal of Arthroplasty, researchers set out to determine if feedback from activity monitors can improve activity levels after total hip arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty.

To conduct this study, 163 people undergoing primary total knee arthroplasty or total hip arthroplasty were randomized into two groups. Subjects in the study received an activity tracker with the step display obscured two weeks before surgery and completed patient-reported outcome measures. On the day after surgery, participants were randomized into either the “feedback group” or the “no feedback group”. The feedback group was able to view their daily step count and was given a daily step goal. Those in the no feedback group wore the device with the display obscured for two weeks after surgery and did not receive a formal step goal, but were also able to see their daily step count after those two weeks were up.

Average steps taken by both groups were monitored at one, two, and six weeks, and again at six months. At six months after surgery, subjects repeated their patient-reported outcome measures.

It turns out that the feedback group subjects had a significantly higher average daily step count by 43% in week one, 33% in week two, 21% in week six, and 17% at six months, compared to the no feedback group. Additionally, the feedback group subjects were 1.7 times more likely to achieve an average of 7,000 steps per day than the no feedback group subjects at six weeks after surgery. Six weeks after surgery, the feedback group participants were back to their pre-op activity levels (100%) and at six months, they were actually stepping more (137%). While 83% of the no feedback group participants reported they were satisfied with the results of the surgery, 90% of the feedback groups reported the same.

With mobility and physical activity being imperative to healthy aging and very helpful for recovery after total hip arthroplasty or total knee arthroplasty, incorporating an activity monitor into your post-operative rehabilitation is a great idea for health and exercise motivation.

Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is an expert in total knee arthroplasty, total hip arthroplasty, exercise and health, and more. Contact Dr. Stickney to return to your healthy, pain-free lifestyle.

The Link Between Distance Running and Arthritis

marathonAlthough distance running is often associated with numerous health benefits, the impact on hip and knee joint health has been inconclusive up to this point. Long-distance running has been linked with an increased prevalence of arthritis in some studies, but others have shown an inverse association or no association at all.

In a recent study published by Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, authors Ponzio et al. investigate hip and knee health in active marathon runners, including the prevalence of pain, arthritis and arthroplasty (joint replacement) and associated risk factors.

To conduct their research, Ponzio et al. distributed a hip and knee health survey internationally to marathon runners from 18-79 years old, divided into subgroups by age, sex BMI and physical activity level. The survey questions assessed pain, personal and family history of arthritis, surgical history, running volume, personal record time, risk factors and current running status. The results were then compared with National Center for Health Statistics’ information for a matched group of the US population who were not marathon runners.

What the authors of the study found is that while age, family history and surgical history independently predicted an increased risk for hip and knee arthritis in active marathoners, there was no correlation with running history. In the researcher’s cohort study, the arthritis rate of active marathoners was below that of the general US population.

While the authors conclude that longitudinal follow-up is needed to determine the effects of marathon running on developing future knee and hip arthritis, it’s a hopeful and encouraging finding for long-distance runners.

Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is an expert in joint replacement surgerysports medicine and more. Contact Dr. Stickney and return to your healthy, pain-free lifestyle!

Early Signs of Osteoarthritis (OA) in the Knee

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common problem for many people after middle age. OA is sometimes referred to as degenerative, or wear and tear, arthritis. OA commonly affects the knee joint. In fact, knee OA is the most common cause of disability in the United States. In the past, people were led to believe that nothing could be done for their problem. Now doctors have many ways to treat knee OA so patients have less pain, better movement, and enhanced quality of life.

Signs of osteoarthritis

According to a HealthDayNews report, “Having knee pain while using the stairs may be an early sign of arthritis.” A study conducted at the University of Leeds included more than 4,600 people who were at high risk for arthritis. Researchers followed the volunteers for up to seven years.

Professor Philip Conaghan, a professor of musculoskeletal medicine at the University of Leeds in England stated in a news release, “At present, we have little concept of ‘early’ osteoarthritis and often only see people when they have significant, longstanding pain and loss of function.” He goes on to say, “This research is vital to understanding early symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.”

Using stairs was the first weight-bearing activity in which people with early knee arthritis noticed pain. They later developed pain while walking, standing, lying or sitting, and finally, while resting in bed.

“Knowing this will help us intervene earlier, perhaps leading to more effective ways of treating this very painful condition,” Conaghan explained.

According to Dr. Stickney, “Knee replacement is a very effective surgery for correcting deformity and relieving pain from arthritis. The typical conditions leading up to the need for a knee replacement are osteoarthritis, inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid disease, and posttraumatic arthritis or damage to the cartilage after a prior knee injury. Knee replacement involves replacing or capping the joint surfaces where the cartilage has been damaged with metal and plastic components. The amount of bone removed in a knee replacement procedure is typically less than 9-mm. Typically, three of the four major ligaments of the knee can remain in place.”

Dr. Stickney goes on to say, “You should expect improvement after a knee replacement for 6 to 12 months. The majority of improvement will occur in the first two months. Most people require therapy for 2 to 3 months after surgery and most people will not return to work for 2 to 3 months after surgery. Typically physical therapy is performed in the home for the first two weeks after surgery and then on an outpatient basis for at least 2 to 3 months after surgery. The hospital stay after knee replacement is typically two days.”

If you are suffering from knee osteoarthritis or would like more information about knee joint replacement or help in planning the timing of your knee surgery, call Dr. Stickney to learn and understand possible treatments by calling 425-823-4000 to schedule an appointment or email him at ProOrthoAppointment@proliancesurgeons.com.  Watch Dr. Stickney’s video and learn more about him and the services he offers!