BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2015 16:185

Agreements and disagreements in exercise therapy prescriptions after hip replacement among rehabilitation professionals: a multicenter survey

Christine Eulenburg, Anna-Lina Rahlf, Andrej Kutasow & Astrid Zech


Exercise therapy following total hip replacement (THR) is considered to be important during the initial postoperative care, but till date only a few evidence-based recommendations exist. The aim of this survey was to identify prescription standards among different rehabilitation professionals, for the exercise therapy management after THR in Germany.


The study was a cross-sectional survey. Standardized questionnaires were sent to 38 eligible rehabilitation facilities in Germany. Participating surgeons, orthopaedic physicians, physiotherapists and exercise therapists rated the optimal early weight-bearing, resistance training, key components and dose of exercise therapy, and the hip loading during exercising. The returned questionnaires were then analyzed for level of agreement (≥80 %) among respondents.


313 rehabilitation professionals from 28 clinics returned completed questionnaires and were considered eligible for analysis. Out of total respondents, 53.9 % (cemented THR) and 18.2 % (uncemented THR) recommended full weight-bearing within five days after surgery. Commencement of resistance training later than three weeks after surgery is recommended by 20.6 % (36 %) for cemented (uncemented) prosthesis. Feedback varied significantly amongst the professions. Regarding the overall objectives of rehabilitation after hip replacement, respondents agree in six out of eight requested items. Agreement concerning priorities of specific exercises was achieved in three out of twelve items. The recommended exercise therapy dose varied significantly with working experience (p = 0.02).


Rehabilitation professionals mainly disagreed with the exercise therapy prescriptions following the total hip replacement during the initial postoperative care in Germany.

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