DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of routinely collected clinical data.
OBJECTIVE: This study modeled the recovery in knee flexion and extension range of motion (ROM) over 1 year after total knee replacement (TKR).
BACKGROUND: Recovery after TKR has been characterized for self-reported pain and functional status. Literature describing target knee ROM at different follow-up periods after TKR is scarce.
METHODS: Data were extracted for patients who had undergone TKR at a tertiary care hospital at 2, 8, 12, 26, and 52 weeks after TKR. A linear mixed-effects growth model was constructed that investigated the following covariates age, sex, pre-TKR range, body mass index, duration of symptoms, and their interaction with weeks post TKR.
RESULTS: Of the 559 patients included (age 64.8 ± 8.5 years), 370 were women and 189 were men. Knee ROM showed the greatest change during the first 12 weeks after TKR, plateauing by 26 weeks. For an average patient, knee flexion increased from approximately 100º 2 weeks post TKR to 117º 52 weeks post TKR. Knee extension increased from approximately 3º knee flexion 2 weeks post TKR to 1º flexion 52 weeks post TKR.
CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that the maximum gains in knee ROM should be expected within the first 12 weeks with small changes occurring up to 26 weeks after TKR. In addition, age and presurgery knee ROM are associated with the gains in knee ROM and should be factored into the estimation of expected knee ROM at a given follow-up interval after TKR.