The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 32, Issue 7, 2070 - 2076

The New Surgical Technique for Improving Total Knee and Hip Arthroplasty Outcomes: Patient Selection

Magone, Kevin et al.
Hip Knee

Background

Inclusion of patient satisfaction scores in setting reimbursements has been suggested by health care policy makers to contain cost and improve outcomes. The Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) score provides a health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measure of arthroplasty outcome. Although previous work identified factors that influence this score for hip and knee arthroplasty patients, they did not focus on how a surgeon might use this information in a clinical setting. The present study examined whether relatively simple criteria might identify patients more likely to experience minimal HRQoL improvement.

Methods

“Improvements” in SF-36 composite physical scores and subscales were calculated from the difference between initial (preoperative) and SF-36 scores at 1 year. The rates of achieving a clinically significant improvement were compared between patient groups.

Results

After knee arthroplasty, women and younger patients achieved a clinically significant improvement in physical function more frequently than men and older patients (P = .04 and .02, respectively). The largest differences in improvement occurred between the diabetic and nondiabetic groups (P = .001), where the diabetic patients with ≥2 additional comorbidities demonstrated the lowest rate of achieving a clinically significant improvement in physical function and bodily pain. In comparison, in hip patients only age had significant influence on gains in physical function, but this did not alter the rate at which patients achieved a clinically significant improvement.

Conclusion

These data indicate simple screening criteria can identify patients where arthroplasty might provide marginal HRQoL improvement. They suggest HRQoL-based reimbursement incentives will favor practices with younger, healthier patient populations.


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