To study the isolated effect of physical therapy on total joint arthroplasty hospital length of stay (LOS), researchers from the University of Pittsburgh conducted a prospective cohort study on 136 patients with primary total joint arthroplasties (58 hips, 78 knees). LOS was determined by the operative start time until the time of discharge. On postoperative day (POD) 0, 60 patients remained in bed, 51 moved to a chair, and 25 received physical therapy (22 ambulated, 3 moved to a chair). LOS differed for patients receiving physical therapy on POD 0 (2.8 ± 0.8 days) compared with POD 1 (3.7 ± 1.8 days). There was no difference in physical therapy treatment based on nausea/vomiting, pain levels, or discharge location. Isolated physical therapy intervention on POD 0 shortened hospital LOS, regardless of the intervention performed.
This article was published online March 2 in The Journal of Arthroplasty.