The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 2, 358 - 363

Perception of a Natural Joint After Total Knee Arthroplasty

Eichler, David et al.


Assessing patients’ functional outcomes following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) with traditional scoring systems is limited by their ceiling effects. Patient’s Joint Perception (PJP) question of the reconstructed joint is also of significant interest. Forgotten Joint Score (FJS) was created as a more discriminating option. The actual score constituting a “forgotten joint” has not yet been defined. The primary objective of this study is to compare the PJP and the FJS in TKA patients to determine the FJS score that corresponds to the patient’s perception of a natural joint.


One hundred TKAs were assessed at a mean of 40.6 months of follow-up using the PJP question, FJS, and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Correlation between the 3 scores and their ceiling effects were analyzed.


With PJP question, 39% of the patients perceived a natural joint (FJS: 92.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 89.4-96.4), 12% an artificial joint with no restriction (FJS: 79.5; 95% CI, 65.7-93.3), 36% an artificial joint with minor restrictions (FJS: 70.0; 95% CI, 63.2-76.9), and 13% had major restrictions (FJS: 47.3; 95% CI. 32.8-61.7). PJP has a high correlation with FJS and WOMAC (Spearman’s rho, −0.705 and −0.680, respectively). FJS and WOMAC had a significant ceiling effect with both reaching the best possible score in >15%.


Patients perceiving their TKA as a natural knee based on PJP have a FJS ≥89. PJP has a good correlation with FJS and may be a shorter, simple, and acceptable alternative.

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