Effect of joint mobilization techniques for primary total knee arthroplasty: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

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Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has become the most preferred procedure by patients for the relief of pain caused by knee osteoarthritis. TKA patients aim a speedy recovery after the surgery. Joint mobilization techniques for rehabilitation have been widely used to relieve pain and improve joint mobility. However, relevant randomized controlled trials showing the curative effect of these techniques remain lacking to date. Accordingly, this study aims to investigate whether joint mobilization techniques are valid for primary TKA.


We will manage a single-blind, prospective, randomized, controlled trial of 120 patients with unilateral TKA. Patients will be randomized into an intervention group, a physical modality therapy group, and a usual care group. The intervention group will undergo joint mobilization manipulation treatment once a day and regular training twice a day for a month. The physical modality therapy group will undergo physical therapy once a day and regular training twice a day for a month. The usual care group will perform regular training twice a day for a month. Primary outcome measures will be based on the visual analog scale, the knee joint Hospital for Special Surgery score, range of motion, surrounded degree, and adverse effect. Secondary indicators will include manual muscle testing, 36-Item Short Form Health Survey, Berg Balance Scale function evaluation, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, proprioception, and muscle morphology. We will direct intention-to-treat analysis if a subject withdraws from the trial.


The important features of this trial for joint mobilization techniques in primary TKA are randomization procedures, single-blind, large sample size, and standardized protocol. This study aims to investigate whether joint mobilization techniques are effective for early TKA patients. The result of this study may serve as a guide for TKA patients, medical personnel, and healthcare decision makers.

Trial registration:

It has been registered at http://www.chictr.org.cn/showproj.aspx?proj=15262 (Identifier:ChiCTR-IOR-16009192), Registered 11 September 2016. We also could provide the correct URL of the online registry in the WHO Trial Registration. http://apps.who.int/trialsearch/Trial2.aspx?TrialID=ChiCTR-IOR-16009192

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