Does Internet-based knee rehab work?

I often have patients ask if they can do their physical rehabilitation at home – either because it’s too far to drive to physical therapy or too expensive. Some want home physical therapy with a therapist, some want to try to do it themselves. We’ve not really known if it would be effective for folks to “do it yourself” or not. Now we may have an answer.

The Los Angeles Times’ “Booster Shots” blog reported that Internet-based rehabilitation for patients who had knee replacement surgery proved as effective as traditional therapy sessions, according to a study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Researchers “compared a live, Internet-based rehabilitation program to a traditional one for 65 men and women who had recent knee replacement surgery” and found that “after the six weeks, those in the Internet program had comparable results to those in the conventional rehabilitation program.”

The Internet-based rehabilitation patients “even did better in some areas, such as reducing joint stiffness.”

So, for those of you wanting to try postoperative knee therapy at home, talk to your surgeon. He or she now has a reason to consider it.

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