Mobilization after joint arthroplasty surgery: who benefits from standing within 12 hours?

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Background: Early mobilization following joint arthroplasty surgery has been shown to be beneficial for patients, but it is unclear whether it is associated with a shorter length of stay (LOS) for both hip and knee arthroplasty (KA) patients. Methods: We undertook a retrospective observational study, reviewing the case notes of 386 patients admitted to an enhanced recovery programme for total hip (THA) or total/unicompartmental KA. We evaluated the influence of early mobilization on LOS, adjusting for possible confounders, stratifying by surgery type. Results: THA patients first mobilized within 12 h of returning to the acute orthopaedic ward following surgery had a significantly shorter mean LOS (mean = 3.6, standard deviation = 1.1) than THA patients who first mobilized 12 or more hours (mean = 4.1, standard deviation = 1.2), P = 0.004. There was no statistical significant difference in the mean LOS between the KA patients mobilized earlier or later. Conclusion: Early mobilization as part of an enhanced recovery programme was associated with decreased LOS for patients having THA; however, this was not the case for KA patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1271-1276
Number of pages6
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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