Patients who have undergone knee replacement surgery should be re-taught how to move from a sitting to a standing position, new research suggests.
A study by physiotherapy experts at the University of Delaware found that knee surgery patients often pick up bad habits prior to their operation to help them stand up with minimal pain.
However, the researchers discovered that patients often continue to lean further forward to rise even after their operation, suggesting that they need to relearn the proper technique for standing up.
Researcher Dr Lynn Snyder-Mackler, a professor in the university's department of physical therapy and a certified sports physical therapist, commented: "Because most patients with knee replacement have lived with debilitating pain for years, they work around the pain by adopting different strategies to avoid using their weakened quadriceps femoris muscle (muscle in front of the thigh) when going from a sit-to-a-stand position.
"What is interesting about the study is that it shows that, even following surgery, this strategy continued as patients' muscle strength improved."
The professor, whose findings are published in Physical Therapy journal, warned that incorrect patterns of movement could lead to the development of knee osteoarthritis in the future and concluded: "Retraining may be an important prevention strategy."