Supporting exercise before joint replacement

Theme Surgical and orthopaedic innovation

Workstream Interventions to improve patient outcomes after surgery

Status: This project is ongoing

People waiting for a joint replacement often avoid physical activity as they believe it will damage their painful joints. However, we know that exercising before total hip or knee replacement is good for patients and can improve their outcomes after surgery. Having good exercise habits before surgery means patients are also more likely to exercise as part of their rehabilitation after surgery.

Pain science education offers a new way of supporting patients waiting for a joint replacement to increase their physical activity levels. It helps people to reevaluate what chronic pain means and challenge beliefs around pain, movement, and joint damage. This helps people address their pain and reduces their fear of both pain and movement.

Combining this new approach to pain with health psychology and behaviour change theory will help us design an exercise programme that supports patients to increase their physical activity levels before surgery.

Project aims

The aim of this study is to develop an intervention to improve physical activity levels in patients waiting for joint replacement surgery using pain science education and accessible exercise. Our work will include developing and designing the content and messaging for this intervention.

We plan on making our intervention accessible and acceptable to underserved groups. To do this, we will consider barriers to engagement such as, language, literacy levels, and delivery mode.