The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 12, 2931 - 2936

Same-Day Physical Therapy Following Total Knee Arthroplasty Leads to Improved Inpatient Physical Therapy Performance and Decreased Inpatient Opioid Consumption

Sarpong, Nana O. et al.


Early ambulation with physical therapy (PT) following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) has demonstrated benefits in the literature. However, the impact of early PT on rehabilitation performance and opioid consumption has not been elucidated. We evaluate the effect of same-day PT on inhospital functional outcomes and opioid consumption.


We retrospectively identified 2 cohorts of primary TKA patients from July 2016 to December 2017: PT0 (n = 295) received PT on the day of surgery, and PT1 (n = 392) received PT on postoperative day (POD) 1. Outcomes studied included number of feet walked on POD0-3, visual analog scale pain scores, morphine equivalents (ME) consumed, length of stay, and discharge disposition. Analysis was conducted using the Student t-test and Fisher exact test.


In comparison to the PT1 group, the PT0 group walked significantly more steps on POD1 (347.6 vs 167.4 ft, P < .0001), POD2 (342.1 vs 203.5 ft, P < .0001), and POD3 (190.3 vs 128.9 ft, P = .00028). There was no difference between the 2 groups for visual analog scale. The PT0 group also consumed significantly fewer total ME when compared to the PT1 group (149.0 vs 200.3 mg, P = .0002). The PT0 group had a significantly shorter length of stay when compared to the PT1 group (2.7 vs 3.2 days, P = .00075). More patients were discharged home in the PT0 group (81.7% vs 54.8%, P < .0001).


We observed that initiation of PT on POD0 led to better PT performance, reduced ME during hospitalization, and more patients discharged home.

Level of Evidence

III, Retrospective cohort study.

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