The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 11, 2637 - 2645

Activity Impairment and Work Productivity Loss After Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Prospective Study

Hylkema, Tjerk H. et al.


Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is increasingly performed among working-aged individuals, highlighting the importance of work-related outcomes. Therefore, the aim is to examine the extent of both activity impairment outside work and work productivity (absenteeism, presenteeism, at-work productivity loss) at 6 and 24 months post-TKA surgery. Additionally, associated risk factors with these outcomes were evaluated.


This analysis included 183 patients <70 years undergoing TKA who completed questionnaires pre-operatively and during follow-up. Outcomes were derived from the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire and included activity impairment, absenteeism (sick leave), presenteeism (reduced work performance), and at-work productivity loss (overall work productivity loss). All outcomes were scaled 0%-100%, with higher percentages indicating higher impairments. Covariates included age, gender, education, pain catastrophizing, pain, function, psychological distress, and knee-related and health-related quality of life. Linear and logistic regression was used to assess associations between covariates and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment scores at follow-up.


At 6 months, the mean activity impairment was 22.8% (standard deviation [SD] 23.5) dropping to 17.1% (23.1) by 24 months. Among workers, presenteeism was 18.4% (24.6) and at-work productivity loss was 20.8% (26.1). Both dropped significantly by 24 months to 14.2% (22.4) and 12.9% (20.9), respectively. Absenteeism levels were low at both time points. Pain catastrophizing was associated with all outcomes.


This study showed that activity impairment and work productivity loss are common following TKA, decreased significantly over time, but still existed 2 years post-operatively. Those reporting high levels of pain catastrophizing may benefit from targeted rehabilitation guidance to reduce and possibly prevent activity impairment and work productivity loss.

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