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Personalized Recovery Programs Work

by Vince Vacketta, DPM

A “Fast-track,” evidence-based, personalized recovery program has proven to safely and effectively improve outcomes following TKA and THA. Despite the success of these programs in large joint replacement, adoption of similar recovery programs with TAA has been held to a slow crawl until recently.

Getting on the fast-track with TAA

In a recent study lead by Italian surgeon Federico G. Usuelli, 47 TAA patients underwent a personalized recovery program analogous to the fast-track TKA and THA protocols. Patients were selected for inclusion based on eight pre- and intra-operative characteristics, including BMI, functional preoperative status, coronal deformity, bone quality and ancillary procedures and more.

This protocol included an initial post-operative cast for the first 24-hours and then allowed for protected early weightbearing in athletic shoes with guided physical therapy on post-op day one.

Faster recovery with No increased complications

The early weightbearing and physical therapy protocol demonstrated the feasibility of this modified fast-track protocol in TAA without detriment to revision rate or outcomes. Results show promise as the use of TAA continues to grow.

Vincent Vacketta is a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon at the Midwest Orthopaedic Center in Peoria, Illinois. He specializes in elective surgical reconstruction, sports medicine, and trauma.

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