Impact of Weekend Physiotherapy Service on the Cost Effectiveness of Elective Orthopaedic Hip and Knee Arthroplasty

I.P Pengas*, 1, W.S Khan 2, C.A Bennett 3, K.S Rankin 1
1 Department of Orthopaedics, Perth Royal Infirmary, Perth, Scotland PH1 1NX, UK
2 University College London Institute of Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Sciences, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, London HA7 4LP, UK
3 Department of Physiotherapy, Perth Royal Infirmary, Perth, Scotland PH1 1NX, UK

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© Pengas et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Orthopaedics, Perth Royal Infirmary, Perth, Scotland; Tel: +44 7894507181; E-mail:


We performed a prospective correlational study to evaluate the efficiency and cost effectiveness of weekend physiotherapy in accelerating rehabilitation, reducing hospital stay as well as hospital costs for joint arthroplasty patients in a busy Scottish district general hospital. Patients that underwent elective hip (470) and knee (321) arthroplasty were analysed over a 12 month period. A four month period with weekend physiotherapy provision was arranged to ascertain its effectiveness on the length of stay and the achievement of set physiotherapy milestones. Data collected included length of stay and progression in a defined set of physiotherapy milestones. The relationship between time to discharge, mobilisation with sticks, straight leg raise, 90º knee flexion and cost effectiveness of service were used to determine the correlation, and analysis of the interactions of these factors separately. Our Outcome data demonstrate a statistical significance for the time to mobilisation with two sticks for hip (p=0.0030) and knee (p= 0.0037) arthroplasty patients. There was a trend towards earlier discharge times for all patients receiving weekend physiotherapy, but this was not statistically significant. We conclude that the provision of a continuous programme of weekend physiotherapy for all arthroplasty patients has the potential benefit of a quicker rehabilitation that would results in a cost saving.

Keywords: Arthroplasty, cost-effective, orthopaedics, physiotherapy.