Falls and fear of falling in older adults with total joint arthroplasty: a scoping review. BMC Musculoskelet Disord 20, 599 (2019).

Falls and fear of falling in older adults with total joint arthroplasty: a scoping review

Chen, S.K., Voaklander, D., Perry, D. et al.
Ankle Elbow Hip Knee Shoulder Wrist


Patients waiting or recovering from total joint arthroplasty (TJA) are at risk for falls which can lead to restriction of activity and negatively impact recovery. The objective of this scoping review is to critically appraise and synthesize the evidence in the reported number of falls, fear of falling, and risk factors associated with falls in older patients waiting for or recovering from TJA.


Seven electronic databases were searched with no date limits and using language restriction (English). The inclusion criteria were 1) cohorts that included older adults 60+ years of age, 2) reported prevalence of falls, fear of falling, and/or risk factors for falls in patients who were waiting or recovering from TJA and 3) cross-sectional studies, cohort studies, and case control study designs. The quality assessment of selected articles was assessed using the SIGN Guidelines Checklist.


Of the 866 citations identified, 12 studies met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. Prevalence of falls in pre-operative TJA patients and post-operative TJA patients ranged from 23 to 63%, and 13 to 42%, respectively. Of those five studies that examined fear of falling, pre-operative TJA patients reported greater fear of falling than post-operative patients. Modifiable risk factors for falls included fear of falling, joint range of motion, and depression.


An increased risk of falls in patients with TJA was reported both for patients waiting for and recovering from surgery. A number of modifiable risk factors were identified including fear of falling that could be targeted in fall prevention programs for TJA.

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