Gurcay, E., Eksioglu, E., Ezer, U. et al. Rheumatol Int (2008) 28: 541. doi:10.1007/s00296-007-0474-7
The study aims to evaluate prospective results of physical therapy interventions and rehabilitation of arthropathic joints in young male hemophilic patients. Given that the effectiveness of the therapy would be higher if therapy is provided at early ages, a series of males aged 18 years or younger were included in the study.The study is a descriptive case series of 31 hemophilic children who consecutively referred to the physical therapy and rehabilitation clinic from the pediatric hematology clinic of the same hospital over a period of 12 months. After getting their oral informed consent, all the patients underwent an intensive, 4-week clinical rehabilitation program, concomitant with factor replacement treatment. A total of 65 arthropathic joints were evaluated in the study and physical therapy interventions were applied 5 days a week for 1 h daily. The range of motion (ROM), pain, clinical evaluation and disability scores were compared and contrasted before and after the 4-week physiotherapy program. The ROM of all involved joints improved (at knee, ankle and elbow) and the scores of pain, clinical evaluation and disability revealed statistically significant improvement (P < 0.001). A multidisciplinary approach is important in the management of hemophilic arthropathy and appropriate physiotherapy combined with adequate replacement factor therapy promotes maintenance of the musculoskeletal function in male hemophilic patients.