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30-08-2018 | Osteoarthritis | Article

Home exercise therapy to improve muscle strength and joint flexibility effectively treats pre-radiographic knee OA in community-dwelling elderly: a randomized controlled trial

Clinical Rheumatology

Authors: Yusuke Suzuki, Hirotaka Iijima, Yuto Tashiro, Yuu Kajiwara, Hala Zeidan, Kanako Shimoura, Yuichi Nishida, Tsubasa Bito, Kengo Nakai, Masataka Tatsumi, Soyoka Yoshimi, Tadao Tsuboyama, Tomoki Aoyama

Publisher: Springer London


To compare the efficacy and adherence rates of two parallel home exercise therapy programs—multiple exercise (training and stretching the knee and hip muscles) and control (training the quadriceps muscles)—on knee pain, physical function, and knee extension strength in community-dwelling elderly individuals with pre-radiographic knee osteoarthritis (OA). One hundred patients with medial knee pain were randomly allocated to one of two 4-week home exercise programs. Individuals with a Kellgren/Lawrence (K/L) grade 0 or 1 OA (pre-radiographic knee OA) in the medial compartment were enrolled. Primary outcomes were knee pain (visual analog scale), self-reported physical function (Japanese Knee Osteoarthritis Measure [JKOM]), and isometric maximum muscle strength of the knee extensor measured using a hand-held dynamometer. A total of 52 patients (28 [53.8%] in the multiple exercise group, 24 [46.2%] in the control group) completed the trial. The JKOM activities of daily living and general health conditions outcomes improved significantly in the multiple exercise group compared to the control group (JKOM activities of daily living, beta = − 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], − 1.39 to − 0.13; p = 0.01; JKOM general health conditions, beta = − 0.25; 95% CI, − 0.48 to − 0.01; p = 0.03). The home exercise compliance rates of the multiple exercise and control groups were 96.6 and 100%, respectively. When targeting pre-radiographic knee OA in community-dwelling elderly, it is important to implement home exercise programs that aim to improve muscle strength and joint flexibility rather than knee extension muscle power only.

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