Presented by Plethy Recupe

White Paper

Gender Does Not Affect Recovery

Gender Does Not Affect Recovery

by Tim Hui, PT, DPT, DC & Arielle West PT, DPT &
Subu Subramanian, PhD

Outcomes and Gender

Research has shown that increased adherence to exercise programs has been proven to improve pain levels and overall quality of life for patients (1). Pre-operative exercise programs are also highly supported along with the positive effects they have on physical outcomes following orthopedic surgery (2). This research, however, has been conflicting when it comes to these same types of outcomes as they relate to gender. On one hand, it has been shown that women have a greater amount of functional limitations at the time of surgery but recover faster, earlier on after a standard total knee replacement(3). However, on the other hand, studies have shown that women may tend to report higher levels of depression which directly affect their level of disability and therefore recovery from surgery (4). Through Recupe, Plethy’s mobile exercise application, gender-specific data is consistently collected throughout a patient’s rehabilitation program, allowing differences to be shown.

Recupe utilizes motion sensors to guide patients through pre and post-op daily exercise programs. These exercises focus on improving strength and range of motion while simultaneously recording various health data including pain, adherence, and red-flag symptoms. With this data, healthcare professionals have the ability to fully customize a patient’s home exercise program.


Data was collected from a group of 53 patients who underwent total knee arthroplasties. All of these patients performed both pre and post-op exercise programs utilizing the Recupe application at least 3x per week. Specific data points that were collected for both male and female populations included average pain, average number of reps per formed, average time spent performing physical therapy exercises, average range of motion achieved when performing a heel slide flexion exercise, overall adherence to the exercise program, and average age. The results for each are as follows:

Avg. Pain3.413.26
Pain SD1.851.98
Avg. PT Reps175.8175
PT Reps SD105.280
Avg. PT Time(min)22.3824.64
PT Time SD8.811.3
Avg. ROM57.4356.8
ROM SD28.927.9
Avg. Age65.870.8
Age SD8.26.7


When first looking at age and gender demographics, out of 53 total subjects, 49.1% of the subjects were male and 47.2% were female. Two patients did not register their genders. The average age of the male subjects was 65.8 years old and female subjects was 70.8 years old.

So, both male and female patients feature similar demographics.

Overall, the majority of results support no major differences between male and female subjects in this population of patients who underwent total knee replacement surgeries. Average pain reported by both males and females was a level of 3 out of 10. The average amount of exercise repetitions performed by both groups was 175 with males spending an average of 22 minutes per day on them and females spending 25 minutes. Both groups, male and female, also achieved very similar average ranges of motion when performing a heel slide knee flexion exercise with males at 57 degrees and females at 56degrees. Lastly, both groups also demonstrated similar levels of overall adherence to their physical therapy programs with males at96% and females at 100%. In summary, both male and female genders performed similarly and demonstrated very comparable outcomes throughout their pre and post-op exercise programs for total knee replacement surgery. Thus, there was no evidence leading one towards expecting gender differences in recovery.

Plethy’s healthcare team as well as Plethy’s exercise application, Recupe, interact closely with each client to collect data that can provide many useful and important insights. The above are just a few of those insights that can be gathered and used to track a patient’s progress throughout their rehabilitation journey as well as make important decisions regarding their care to help optimize recovery.

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