Scientists are looking for ways to help patients recover faster from total kneereplacement (TKR). Nutritional supplements may help. In this study creatine was used before and after surgery.
Creatine is made naturally in the body. It's also present in foods like meat. It's stored in the muscles and has some important functions in the muscles. Researchers looked to see if it would help with TKR patients. Other studies have shown creatine supplementation builds muscles mass and strength.
It didn't seem to have that effect on older adults with osteoarthritis having a TKR. There were no measured changes in muscle content or strength. Patients were followed for 30 days after the surgery. In fact there was a major decrease in muscle strength at the knee and ankle at the end of 30 days.
The authors suggest that the lack of physical activity in this older group with arthritis prevented uptake of creatine into the muscles. Other more successful studies included adults of all ages who combined creatine with resistance training. More study is needed to find ways to boost bone healing and recovery of muscle strength.
Brian D. Roy, PhD, et al. Creatine Monohydrate Supplementation Does Not Improve Functional Recovery after Total Knee Arthroplasty. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. July 2005. Vol. 86. No. 7. Pp. 1293-1298.'