Benoit Romain, Martin Hübner, Cécile Brigand, Jean-Philippe Steinmetz and Serge Rohr
Background: Early physical activity is one of the key components of enhanced recovery programs. Recovery after surgery remains difficult to quantify. In this pilot study, we assessed feasibility of connected bracelets measuring number of footsteps each day during the postoperative course. Then, early postoperative physical activity was compared by age and correlated to postoperative complications. Materials and Methods: Daily physical activity (No. of footsteps) was recorded from postoperative day (POD)1 until discharge in a prospective cohort of consecutive colorectal patients by use of an attached strap. Physical activity was compared between old (> 65y) and young patients and correlated to postoperative complications.
Results: A total of 30 patients were included in this prospective pilot study. Physical activity increased steadilyin the early postoperative course from 545 ± 489 steps on POD1 up to 1177 ± 1385 steps on POD3. No significant difference was found comparing younger with older patients (p = 0.47). Patients without complications trended to have higher activity levels throughout the early postoperative period (POD 5: 1154 ± 368 vs. 739 ± 219; p = 0.03).Increased physical activity (POD1+2+3) correlated with shorter length of stay (R2 = 0.28, p = 0.0031). Conclusions: Physical activity increased steadily in the postoperative course regardless of age. Increased number of footsteps was associated with no complications and reduced hospital length of stay. Connected bracelets deliver an objective measure reflecting recovery and predicting outcomes.