gms | German Medical Science

54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e. V.

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung

16.06. bis 18.06.2005, Hamburg

A randomized trial of the weight-bearing recommendation after elective knee replacement surgery

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author T. Liebs - Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Klinik für Orthopädie, Kiel
  • W. Drescher - Kiel
  • W. Herzberg - Wedel
  • J. Haasters - Damp
  • M. Russlies - Lübeck
  • W. Rüther - Bad Bramstedt
  • J. Hassenpflug - Kiel

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung. 54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e.V.. Hamburg, 16.-18.06.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05novK3.04

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 13, 2005

© 2005 Liebs et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Although Knee Arthroplasty is one of the most common major surgical procedures, an optimal postoperative treatment regimen is still unknown. In particular, current recommendation regarding weight-bearing after primary unilateral knee replacement vary considerably. The aim of this study was to examine the differences between a recommended full weight-bearing or partial weight-bearing regimen after knee replacement on disability, joint stiffness, pain, quality of life, and patient satisfaction.


Multicenter randomized controlled trial. One group was recommended a full weight-bearing, the other a partial weight-bearing regimen after primary unilateral knee replacement. At baseline, three, six and twelve postoperative months the following outcomes were taken: The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Short Form-36 (SF-36), Lequesne Knee Score, and a patient satisfaction score based on a consensus paper of the AAOS, SICOT, and the Hip Society.


The primary outcome was assessed in 143 of 150 patients, resulting in a follow-up rate of 95.3 percent. Differences between study groups favoring recommended partial weight-bearing were observed for all measured outcomes. These differences were statistically significant for the Lequesne Knee and the patient satisfaction score at both the three- and six-month follow-up and for WOMAC-function, WOMAC-pain, SF-36 Physical Component Summary at the six-month follow-up. The partial weight-bearing group achieved similar results at the three- and six-month follow-up when compared to the full weight-bearing group at six- and twelve month follow-up, respectively.


After knee arthroplasty, the recommendation of partial weight-bearing regimen leads to superior outcome in health-related quality of life than recommended full weight-bearing.