What recovery domains are important following a total knee replacement? A qualitative, interview-based study

Chetan Khatri*, Fatema Dhaif, David Ellard, Jeremy Neil Rodrigues, Martin Underwood, Paul Mitchell, Andrew Metcalfe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


OBJECTIVES: To explore people's views of recovery from total knee replacement (TKR) and which recovery domains they felt were important.

DESIGN: Semi-structured interviews exploring the views of individuals about to undergo or who have undergone TKR. A constant-comparative approach with thematic analysis was used to identify themes. The process of sampling, collecting data and analysis were continuous and iterative throughout the study, with interviews ceasing once thematic saturation was achieved.

SETTING: Tertiary care centre.

PARTICIPANTS: A purposive sample was used to account for variables including pre, early or late postoperative status.

RESULTS: 12 participants were interviewed, 4 who were preoperative, 4 early postoperative and 4 late postoperative. Themes of pain, function, fear of complications, awareness of the artificial knee joint and return to work were identified. Subthemes of balancing acute and chronic pain were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of this interview-based study identify pain and function, in particular mobility, that were universally important to those undergoing TKR. Surgeons should consider exploring these domains when taking informed consent to enhance shared decision-making. Researchers should consider these recovery domains when designing interventional studies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere080795
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2024

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2024. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

Structured keywords

  • HEHP@Bristol


  • Humans
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee/rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Aged
  • Middle Aged
  • Recovery of Function
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Return to Work
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee/surgery
  • Pain, Postoperative/psychology


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