1. Ganz, S. B.
  2. Backus, S. I.
  3. Benick, R. A.
  4. Espinal, A.

Article Content

Functional recovery after total hip arthroplasty (THA) must occur at a rate consistent with fiscal constraints without compromising patient care. The primary functional goals of physical therapy after THA are unassisted transfers, and ambulation with devices on level surfaces and stairs. Functional progression may be influenced by many factors including the patients' age. The purpose of this study was to determine whether attainment of functional milestones (FMs) differed in older patients. From 234 patients with uncomplicated unilateral THA (median age 61 years), patients 60 years and older were concurrently monitored for postoperative day (POD) of achievement of the following FMs: transfers; ambulation with a walker, crutches, and cane; and stair negotiation. Based on descriptive statistics, 2 age groups were defined. Independent t tests, corrected for multiple measures, were used to compare these groups.


Results are as follows:


The rate of achievement of all the FMs except cane unassisted and stair unassisted was significantly longer in patients to years and older than in their younger counterparts. These functional delays impact upon physical therapy intervention, discharge planning, and reimbursement.

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