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Science and medicine: Improving knee replacement outcomes

Vaseline 2 months ago

Gustavo Almeida, PhD. is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at UT Health San Antonio.

“I’m originally from Brazil. I started my career with athletes – football players, UFC, MMA fighters. It was great work, but I felt like I was just not doing enough,” he said.

Almeida wanted to do research and his journey eventually took him here, where he is studying blood flow restriction exercises to see if it will improve outcomes for people waiting for a total knee replacement.

“And so you place the cuffs around the thigh and inflate them to the point that people are only getting 20% ​​of their blood flow to their legs, and that stimulates their metabolic processes. And that has been shown to improve muscle function, muscle growth, muscle strength.”

Gustavo Almeida, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at UT Health San Antonio.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Gustavo Almeida, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at UT Health San Antonio.

In his current study, Almeida found that nine of thirteen patients who exercised while their blood flow was restricted improved their function before surgery and maintained those gains afterward.

“So that’s a real wow moment for me,” he said.

These types of exercises have potential beyond those getting knee replacements.

“In healthy older adults, one group did blood flow restriction training without weights – just the blood flow restriction training – and compared to high resistance training they had similar results,” he said.

So the limited group achieved the same results with less effort.

Science & Medicine is a collaboration between TPR and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio that explores how scientific discoveries in San Antonio are advancing the way medicine is practiced everywhere.