Content » Vol 36, Issue 2

A specific arm-interval exercise program could improve the health status and walking ability of elderly patients after total hip arthroplasty: a pilot study

Jérôme Maire A1, Anne-Françoise Faillenet-Maire A3, Céline Grange A1, Benoit Dugué A1, Nicolas Tordi A1, Bernard Parratte A6, Jean-Denis Rouillon A1
A1 Laboratoire des Sciences du Sport Besançon France
A2 ORTON Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation for Invalids Helsinki Finland
A3 Centre de Réadaptation Fonctionnelle Service de Rééducation Gériatrique Quingey France
A4 Minerva Institute for Medical Research Helsinki Finland
A5 EA 2253, Université de Poitiers France
A6 Service d'Exploration Fonctionnelle Neuro-Musculaire Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Besançon France

DOI: 10.1080/16501970310021383


Objective : To investigate the influence of an arm-interval exercise program for the upper limbs on health status and walking ability in elderly patients after total hip arthroplasty. Design : A randomized controlled investigation. After surgery, a control group started a general rehabilitation program, and a training group combined it with an arm-interval exercise program. Subjects : Fourteen patients (age 75. 1 ± 4. 8 years) were randomly assigned to the control group (n = 7) and the training group (n = 7). Methods : A Western Ontario and MacMaster University (WOMAC) Osteoarthritis Index was completed and an incremental exercise test on an arm crank ergometer was also performed 1 month before (T -1 ) and 2 months after surgery (T 2 ). Moreover, a 6-minute walk test was performed at T 2 . Results : Both groups significantly improved all dimensions of WOMAC, except in WOMAC physical function subscale in the control group. The training group covered a significantly longer distance in the walking test than the control group and also presented significantly higher &Vdot;O 2 peak value at T 2 . Correlation analyses indicate that &Vdot;O 2 peak value and the distance covered in the 6-minute walking test were significantly associated with functional status. After calculating the ratio distance covered/score at WOMAC physical function, we observed a significantly higher ratio value in the training group than in the control group. Conclusion : Preliminary results indicate that the improvement in physical fitness and functional status of the training group seems to be associated with better health status.

Lay Abstract


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