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J Arthroplasty. 2000 Aug;15(5):590-6.

Patients' perception of pain after total hip arthroplasty.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


A study was undertaken to determine the frequency with which patients had pain that they attributed to their hip after total hip arthroplasty. Pain drawings were used to allow patients to localize the area of their symptoms, and the degree of pain was quantified with visual analog scales. Complete clinical and radiographic data were collected on all patients so that the occurrence of pain could be correlated with a number of parameters previously reported to affect the incidence of pain, including age, sex, activity level, length of follow-up, stem size, bone type (Dorr index), and type of stem fixation (proximally coated, fully coated, or cemented). Results indicated that type of stem fixation was the only parameter statistically correlated with a higher incidence of thigh pain. Patients with proximally coated stems were more than twice as likely to complain of pain than patients with fully coated or cemented hips (P < .01). Although the incidence of thigh pain was significantly higher with proximally coated stems, the severity was not, averaging 3.0 to 3.5 out of 10 on visual analog scale in all 3 groups. The results indicate that patients perceived pain as originating in the hip in a high percentage of cases, particularly when proximally coated stems were used.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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