Determinants of patients' expectations about total knee arthroplasty outcomes

Sofia de Achaval, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent form of arthritis in the US, affecting approximately 37% of adults. Approximately 300,000 total knee arthroplasty (TKA) procedures take place in the United States each year. Total knee arthroplasty is an elective procedure available to patients as an irreversible treatment after failure of previous medical treatments. Some patients sacrifice quality of life and endure many years of pain before making the decision to undergo total knee replacement. In making their decision, it is therefore imperative for patients to understand the procedure, risks and surgical outcomes to create realistic expectations and increase outcome satisfaction. From 2004-2007, 236 OA patients who underwent TKA participated in the PEAKS (Patient Expectations About Knee Surgery) study, an observational longitudinal cohort study, completed baseline and 6 month follow-up questionnaires after the surgery. We performed a secondary data analysis of the PEAKS study to: (1) determine the specific presurgical patient characteristics associated with patients’ presurgical expectations of time to functional recovery; and (2) determine the association between presurgical expectations of time to functional recovery and postsurgical patient capabilities (6 months after TKA). We utilized the WOMAC to measure knee pain and function, the SF-36 to measure health-related quality of life, and the DASS and MOS-SSS to measure psychosocial quality of life variables. Expectation and capability measures were generated from panel of experts. A list of 10 activities was used for this analysis to measure functional expectations and postoperative functional capabilities. The final cohort consisted of 236 individuals, was predominately White with 154 women and 82 men. The mean age was 65 years. Patients were optimistic about their time to functional recovery. Expectation time of being able to perform the list activities per patient had a median of less than 3 months. Patients who expected to be able to perform the functional activities by 3 months had better knee function, less pain and better overall health-related quality of life. Despite expectation differences, all patients showed significant improvement 6 months after surgery. Participant expectation of time to functional recovery was not an independent predictor of capability to perform functional activities at 6 months. Better presurgical patient characteristics were, however, associated with a higher likelihood of being able to perform all activities at 6 months. This study gave us initial insight on the relationship between presurgical patient characteristics and their expectations of functional recovery after total knee replacement. Future studies clarifying the relationship between patient presurgical characteristics and postsurgical functional capabilities are needed.

Subject Area

Physical therapy|Medicine|Public health

Recommended Citation

de Achaval, Sofia, "Determinants of patients' expectations about total knee arthroplasty outcomes" (2009). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1467332.