Innovative Multimodal Physical Therapy Reduces Incidence of Repeat Manipulation under Anesthesia in Post-Total Knee Arthroplasty Patients Who Had an Initial Manipulation under Anesthesia

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Manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) is performed for knee stiffness following a total knee arthroplasty (TKA) when nonoperative treatments fail. It is important to develop an optimal outpatient physical therapy protocol following an MUA, to avoid a repeat procedure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare: (1) range of motion and (2) the rate of repeat MUA in patients who either underwent innovative multimodal physical therapy (IMMPT) or standard-of-care physical therapy (standard) following an MUA after a TKA. We performed a retrospective database study of patients who underwent an MUA following a TKA between January 2013 to December 2014 (N = 57). There were 16 (28%) men and 41 (72%) women who had a mean age of 59 years (range, 32-81 years). The patients were stratified into those who underwent IMMPT (n = 22) and those who underwent standard physical therapy (n = 35). The 6-month range of motion and rate of repeat manipulation between the two cohorts was analyzed by using Student t-test and Chi-square tests. In addition, we performed a Kaplan-Meier analysis of time to repeat MUA. The IMMPT cohort had a statistically significant higher proportion of TKAs with an optimal range of motion as compared with the standard cohort. There was statistically significant lower proportion of patients who underwent a repeat MUA in the IMMPT as compared with the standard cohort. There was also a significantly lower incidence and longer time to MUA in the IMMPT cohort as compared with the standard cohort in the Kaplan-Meier analysis. The group who underwent IMMPT utilizing Astym therapy had a significantly higher proportion of patients with optimal range of motion, which implies the potential efficacy of this regimen to improve range of motion. Furthermore, the IMMPT cohort had a significantly lower proportion of repeat manipulations as compared with the standard cohort, which implies that an IMMPT approach could potentially reduce the need for a repeat MUA. These findings warrant further investigation into outcomes of different rehab approaches.

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