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J Arthroplasty. 2013 Mar;28(3):401-5. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2012.06.035. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Variations in surgeons' recovery expectations for patients undergoing total joint arthroplasty: a survey of the AAHKS membership.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery-Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Recovery expectations (RE) after total hip and knee arthroplasty (THA-TKA) influence outcomes. We surveyed AAHKS members to determine variation in surgeon RE. Four vignettes depicting patients with high and low expectations after THA and TKA were distributed with a validated RE survey. Responses were analyzed for clinically significant differences between surgeons and within surgeons. Of 1049 surgeons surveyed, 358 (34%) responded. There was a clinically significant difference in 85% (high-THA), 46% (low-THA), 74% (high-TKA), and 57% (low-TKA) of pairs. Disagreement was significantly greater in high expectation vignettes. Individual surgeons distinguished between high and low expectation patients in 76% (THA) and 72% (TKA) of cases. There was no association between surgeon RE and practice demographics. Wide variations in RE were observed, especially among high expectation patients.

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