Background: Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) continues to be the most common elective procedure performed every year, with the goal to reduce pain and improve return to functional activities. Recent studies have investigated new surgical techniques and therapeutic interventions to determine which protocols result in reduced pain and accelerate return to function. Methods: We systematically reviewed 131 out of 301 studies between 1996 and 2019 to assess trends in patient functional performance and perceptive functional recovery after TKA from preoperative up to 2 years postoperative. We evaluated functional outcome measures recommended by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Results that considerably deviated from the established healthy values were reanalyzed to assess the effectiveness of postoperative therapeutic interventions. Results: The general trend of patient functional recovery after TKA occurs from immediate to 6 months postoperatively, and some outcome measures highlight improvement after 1-year postoperatively. Some studies with successful outcomes contain intensive strengthening protocols for the quadriceps femoris and hip abductor muscle groups during physical therapy. Conclusion: The results from this study provide insightful information for clinicians to use. These valid functional assessments establish effective and evidence-based interventions in physical rehabilitation after TKA.

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