Faster recovery is a big plus for patients, because most of them have been dealing with pain for a long time, said Dr. Brian A. Jewett, a surgeon at the Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.
"Walking and being physically active are difficult for them pre-operatively and post-operatively, but for different reasons," he said. "Surgery removes the pre-operative pain and disability, and physical therapy helps restore range of motion and strength post-operatively. EAA appear to facilitate this process, presumably by reducing muscle loss. In the end, if I can get my patients able to go up and down stairs and get up from a chair sooner then this is much better for their overall health, and we saw this occur 6 weeks after surgery in the EAA group. This also suggests a durability-of-treatment effect because EAA treatment was stopped two weeks after surgery and functional mobility measures were recorded four weeks later, or six weeks after TKA. This is clinically very important to me and my patients."
Six weeks after surgery, patients in the control group took 32 percent more time to rise from a chair, walk three meters (about 10 feet), turn around and sit back down, compared to before surgery. Patients receiving essential amino acids took about the same amount of time as before surgery. Control patients took even longer to maneuver stairs after surgery. Again, times remained the same for the EEA group pre- and post-operatively.
"As we've measured it," Dreyer said, "many who have this surgery experience significant and rapid loss of muscle mass despite the fact that their activity level does not change dramatically relative to pre-surgery, which is low to begin with because of their knee pain."
The essential amino acid supplement c
|Contact: Jim Barlow|
University of Oregon