Management of Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis

People with osteoarthritis of the knee and hip may not participate in physical activities due to pain and fear of harming their joints, leading to increased risk of heart attack or stroke.  Eastern Health and La Trobe University PhD candidate Jason Wallis is investigating how to help patients with severe osteoarthritis of the knee be more active and reduce their health risks. In a randomised controlled trial Jason found that participants in the intervention group, who walked for 70 minutes each week for 12 weeks, were six times more likely to lower their blood pressure to a healthy level. In other words, 10 minutes of walking per day was enough to make meaningful changes to the health of osteoarthritis patients while also improving mood and mobility.  

Wallis J, Webster K, Levinger P, Fong C, Taylor N. A pre-operative group rehabilitation programme provided limited benefit for people with severe hip and knee osteoarthritis. Disability & Rehabilitation. 2014;36:2085-90.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24597936

Wallis J, Webster K, Levinger P, Singh P, Fong C, Taylor N. The maximum tolerated dose of walking for people with severe osteoarthritis of the knee: a phase I trial. Osteoarthritis and cartilage / OARS, Osteoarthritis Research Society. 2015.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25882926 

Wallis J, Webster K, Levinger P, Singh P, Fong C, Taylor N. A walking program for people with severe knee osteoarthritis did not reduce pain but may have benefits for cardiovascular health: a phase II randomised controlled trial. Osteoarthritis and cartilage. 2017;25(12):1969-79.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28011099

Wallis JA, Webster KE, Levinger P, Singh PJ, Fong C, Taylor NF. Perceptions about participation in a 12-week walking program for people with severe knee osteoarthritis: a qualitative analysis. Disabil Rehabil. 2017:1-7.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29188750

Total joint replacement is a common operation for people with severe hip and knee osteoarthritis. Despite the operation being very successful in reducing pain, levels of physical activity typically do not improve after surgery. This is a concern as sustained low levels of physical activity increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. PhD student Lyndon Hawke is investigating interventions that might be used to improve physical activity and other outcomes after lower-limb total joint replacement.