Volume 44 Number 5 2007
Pages 751 — 760

Abstract - Self-reported chair-rise ability relates to stair-climbing readiness of total knee arthroplasty patients: A pilot study

John Nyland, PT, EdD, SCS, ATC, FACSM;1* Karen Frost, PhD;2 Peter Quesada, PhD;3 Claudia Angeli, PhD;4 Ann Swank, PhD;5 Robert Topp, PhD, RN;2 Art L. Malkani, MD1

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, 2School of Nursing, and 3Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY; 4Frazier Rehabilitation Institute, Louisville, KY; 5Department of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

Abstract — Following total knee arthroplasty (TKA), physical therapists must evaluate patient readiness to safely begin stair-climbing. Physical therapists might find self-reported chair-rise ability useful in determining stair-climbing readiness of patients. We grouped 31 subjects who were at approximately 3.6 weeks post-TKA by chair-rise ability (group 1 = "Because of my knee, I can only rise from a chair if I use my hands and arms to assist," group 2 = "I have pain when rising from the seated position, but it does not affect my ability to rise from the seated position," and group 3 = "My knee does not affect my ability to rise from a chair"). Next, we determined time of stair-climbing ascent and descent, number of chair rises in 30 seconds, isokinetic quadriceps femoris and hamstring muscle group strength, and self-reported knee function survey scores. Groups 3 and 2 descended stairs more quickly than group 1; group 3 displayed greater involved and noninvolved knee extensor torque per body weight than group 1 or 2 and had superior self-reported knee function scores than group 1. Patient perception of chair-rise ability at approximately 3.6 weeks post-TKA is useful in helping physical therapists determine patient readiness to safely begin stair-climbing.

Key words: arthroplasty, function, home-based care, isokinetics, knee, osteoarthritis, patient outcomes, quadriceps femoris, rehabilitation, stair-climbing, TKA.

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