Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common health problem leading to pain, limitation in physical function, a decrease in the quality of life and disability. OA affects 60–70% of the population above 65 years of age all over the world, and is associated with a high cost of healthcare. The main method of treatment of OA, apart from pharmacotherapy and surgery, is comprehensive rehabilitation. Advances in medical technology have resulted in the possibility of using computer-assisted interventions in rehabilitation. The present narrative review is aimed at investigating the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) in the rehabilitation of elderly patients with knee or hip osteoarthritis, including patients after arthroplasty. This literature review based on Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines was carried out in five databases: PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, Scopus and PEDro. It includes ten randomized controlled trials focused on the application of games and biofeedback in the rehabilitation of patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis. There are no conclusive reports that interventions based on VR are more effective than standard physical therapy. Moreover, evidence regarding patients after total hip arthroplasty (THA) is very scarce. The effectiveness of VR-based rehabilitation is unclear, although interventions based on VR are promising in view of pain management, postural and proprioception training. However, this evidence is not sufficient to create clinical guidelines and further high-quality studies are needed.
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