Faculty Advisor(s)

Amy J. Litterini

Document Type

Course Paper

Publication Date



© 2015 Stephanie Sanderson


Background and Purpose: Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is one of the most frequently performed orthopedic procedures in the U.S. Thousands of people undergo TKA every year in hopes of improving their functional abilities and reducing their pain levels. The purpose of this case report was to document acute care outcome measures in a patient who underwent bilateral TKA staged five weeks apart and to assess the possible implications that a short staging period might have on the patient’s ability to recover. Case Description: The patient was a 58-year-old male who following a left TKA underwent a right TKA, secondary to right knee osteoarthritis. The patient received physical therapy twice daily until he was appropriate for a safe discharge home. Therapeutic exercises were provided based on the hospital’s post-operative TKA protocol. The patient also underwent functional mobility training. Outcomes: Right knee range of motion (ROM), strength, sensation, pain, ability to perform a straight leg raise (SLR) and functional abilities were assessed. The patient’s right knee ROM at discharge was 2 degrees of extension to 70 degrees of flexion. The patient never gained the ability to independently perform a SLR prior to discharge. He was however, able to safely perform functional mobility tasks without right knee buckling and without loss of balance with the use of a walker at discharge. Discussion: Many studies support an early and intensive post-operative rehabilitation program. Recommended exercise guidelines in the acute care setting following a TKA, as well as the optimal staging period between bilateral TKA, are limited. Further research is needed to determine the most beneficial exercises, frequency, intensity, and duration in order to produce the best functional outcomes.


The case report poster for this paper can be found here:




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.