Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: June 2012 - Volume 470 - Issue 6 - p 1728–1734 doi: 10.1007/s11999-011-2169-3 Clinical Research

When Do Patient-reported Assessments Peak after Revision Knee Arthroplasty?

Malviya, Ajay, FRCSEd(Tr & Orth)1, a; Bettinson, Karen, MSc2; Kurtz, Steven, M., PhD3; Deehan, David, J., FRCS(Tr & Orth)2

Background The best timing for patient visits after revision TKA is unclear. Predictors of pain and function reported in the literature typically look at the influence at a given time that might not be ideal if the score is not at a peak or the earliest possible time. Moreover, most reports of predictors include revisions for infection, which typically have a poorer outcome, or for other indications with variable outcome.


Questions/purposes We therefore determined (1) the trend of recovery after revision TKA to determine the best time to measure the peak patient-reported pain and function scores and (2) the influence of comorbidities and age on the patterns of recovery.


Methods We prospectively followed 120 patients who had revision TKAs from 2003 to 2008. The patients were assessed within 6 weeks before surgery and at 12 weeks, 1 year, and annually thereafter. We obtained WOMAC and SF-36 scores at each visit. We used a linear mixed model analysis to assess predictors. The minimum followup was 2 years (mean, 3 years; range, 2-7 years).


Results The majority of improvements in the WOMAC and SF-36 scores occurred during the first year after surgery after which the scores stabilized. One of the seven independent preoperative variables studied (comorbidities) predicted a trend toward improvement of WOMAC pain, WOMAC function, and SF-36 bodily pain scores. The greater the numbers of comorbidities, the worse were the scores. Age, gender, BMI, indication for surgery, and surgeon did not independently influence the WOMAC or SF-36.


Conclusion Our data suggest that one of the times for patient visits after revision TKA should be 1 year after surgery. This time allows for key discrimination of implant performance. The data also confirm that patients with a greater number of comorbidities had less functional benefit from revision surgery.


Level of Evidence Level II, prognostic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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