Trajectories of Pain and Function after Primary Hip and Knee Arthroplasty: The ADAPT Cohort Study

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Abstract

Background and Purpose

Pain and function improve dramatically in the first three months after hip and knee arthroplasty but the trajectory after three months is less well described. It is also unclear how pre-operative pain and function influence short- and long-term recovery. We explored the trajectory of change in function and pain until and beyond 3-months post-operatively and the influence of pre-operative self-reported symptoms.

Methods

The study was a prospective cohort study of 164 patients undergoing primary hip (n = 80) or knee (n = 84) arthroplasty in the United Kingdom. Self-reported measures of pain and function using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis index were collected pre-operatively and at 3 and 12 months post-operatively. Hip and knee arthroplasties were analysed separately, and patients were split into two groups: those with high or low symptoms pre-operatively. Multilevel regression models were used for each outcome (pain and function), and the trajectories of change were charted (0–3 months and 3–12 months).

Results

Hip: Most improvement occurred within the first 3 months following hip surgery and patients with worse pre-operative scores had greater changes. The mean changes observed between 3 and twelve months were statistically insignificant. One year after surgery, patients with worse pre-operative scores had post-operative outcomes similar to those observed among patients with less severe pre-operative symptoms. Knee: Most improvement occurred in the first 3 months following knee surgery with no significant change thereafter. Despite greater mean change during the first three months, patients with worse pre-operative scores had not ‘caught-up’ with those with less severe pre-operative symptoms 12 months after their surgery.

Conclusion

Most symptomatic improvement occurred within the first 3 months after surgery with no significant change between 3–12 months. Further investigations are now required to determine if patients with severe symptoms at the time of their knee arthroplasty have a different pre-surgical history than those with less severe symptoms and if they could benefit from earlier surgical intervention and tailored rehabilitation to achieve better post-operative patient-reported outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0149306
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume11
Issue number2
Early online date12 Feb 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2016

Structured keywords

  • Centre for Surgical Research

Keywords

  • Hip Arthroplasty
  • Knee Arthroplasty
  • Trajectory
  • Cohort study
  • Pain
  • Function
  • PROMs

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