Send to

Choose Destination
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2013 Oct;21(10):1485-93. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2013.06.005. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

Return to work and workplace activity limitations following total hip or knee replacement.

Author information

Health Care and Outcomes Research, Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada.



Total hip (THR) and knee (TKR) replacements increasingly are performed on younger people making return to work a salient outcome. This research evaluates characteristics of individuals with early and later return to work following THR and TKR. Additionally, at work limitations pre-surgery and upon returning to work, and factors associated with work limitations were evaluated.


190 THR and 170 TKR of a total 931 cohort participants were eligible (i.e., working or on short-term disability pre-surgery). They completed questionnaires pre-surgery and 1, 3, 6 and 12 months post-surgery that included demographics, type of occupation, and the Workplace Activity Limitations Scale (WALS).


166 (87%) and 144 (85%) returned to work by 12 months following THR and TKR, respectively. Early (1 month) return to work was associated with, male gender, university education, working in business, finance or administration, and low physical demand work. People with THR returned to work earlier than those with TKR. For both groups, less pain and every day functional limitations were associated with less workplace activity limitations at the time return to work.


The majority of individuals working prior to surgery return to work following hip or knee replacement for osteoarthritis (OA) and experience fewer limitations at work than pre-surgery. The changing workforce dynamics and trends toward surgery at younger ages mean that these are important outcomes for clinicians to assess. Additionally, this is important information for employers in understanding continued participation in employment for people with OA.


Employment; Hip replacement; Knee replacement; Outcomes; Work limitations

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center