With skyrocketing health care costs, insurance agencies are constantly looking for ways to reduce reimbursement. This includes decreasing payments to organizations that have poor outcomes. As most PTs are looking to stay in business, it is important that we have valid and reliable outcome measures in order to receive appropriate reimbursement. This study looked at the effectiveness of analyzing the symmetry of a squat as a clinical marker of function after Total Knee Arthroplasty. As many functional activities involve a squat-like maneuver, the squat may prove to be a valid measure for functional ability. The authors compared body weight % on each side in standing, 30 degree squats, and 60 degree squats. For anyone who has seen a knee replacement surgery, it's easy to understand why individuals place the majority of their weight on the uninvolved limb following surgery. The compensations caused by the asymmetries place the uninvolved limb and joints around the involved knee at risk for additional injuries due to their increased load. The study found that the 60 degree squat asymmetries was correlated with individuals who had moderate difficulty with functional activities, while standing asymmetries were not. Symmetry was found to be improved upon further rehabilitation. The squat may be a useful outcome measure when treating patients following total knee replacements. Upon further research, this may be a common tool used in the clinic for assessing patient progression.
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