The aim of this study was to investigate whether pre-operative, sensorimotor training results in improved physical function, quality of life, sensorimotor function and reduced disability in total hip replacement patients. 80 subjects awaiting total hip replacement at a Swiss hospital were recruited for this randomised controlled trial. The intervention group participated in a pre-operative home exercise sensorimotor training programme; the control group received no therapy. Primary outcome measure was physical function, secondary outcome measures were quality of life, disability and sensorimotor function. Outcomes were measured using generic and disease-specific questionnaires as well as objectively assessed balance ability. Measurements were taken one day before surgery and 10 days, 4 and 12 months after surgery. The intervention showed improved quality of life and sensorimotor function before surgery. These effects were lost following surgery. The intervention group experienced more disability at 4 months than the control group. At one year follow-up group-membership influenced quality of life scores depending on the measurement-time-point. It can be concluded that no useful effect was identified for a pre-operative sensory-motor training-programme. The psychological aspects following total hip replacement need to be considered in order to facilitate coping-strategies, reduce unrealistic expectations and increase satisfaction.
- total hip endoprosthesis
- physical therapy