Physiotherapy with ‘exergames’ may yield outcomes similar to standard physiotherapy
Patients who underwent physiotherapy that incorporated games, known as exergames, after arthroscopic shoulder surgery had outcomes that were similar to patients who had standard physiotherapy, according to published results.
Researchers randomly assigned 64 patients who underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery to receive either standard physiotherapy (n=31) or physiotherapy that incorporated games from the Medical Interactive Recovery Assistant (MIRA) digital platform (MIRA Rehab Ltd.) paired with a Microsoft Kinect sensor (Microsoft Corp.; exergame group; n=33). Researchers considered active range of motion objectively measured by MIRA and Kinect as the primary outcome. The Oxford Shoulder Score (OSS), DASH score and EuroQol-VAS measured at 12 weeks after surgery were secondary outcome measures.
Results showed no significant differences between the standard and exergames groups in baseline range of motion and no significant differences in forward flexion, abduction and external rotation between the two groups postoperatively. Researchers found the mean OSS improved from 29.25 to 38.2 in the standard physiotherapy group and from 27.1 to 35.1 in the exergames group, with no significant difference between the groups at 12 weeks postoperatively. Researchers also noted no significant differences in the mean DASH score between the two groups, with improvements from 38.13 to 16.98 in the standard physiotherapy group and from 42.3 to 22.54 in the exergames group. The two groups had no significant differences in the EQ-VAS at any timepoint, according to results.
“This study shows that a progressive schedule of exergames prescribed by, and remotely monitored by, a physiotherapist provides an effective rehabilitation program for patients post-shoulder surgery,” the authors wrote. “This has the potential to relieve some of the heavy burden placed on physiotherapy departments for ‘routine’ face-to-face postoperative care and better facilitate remote rehabilitation.”