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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1998 Nov;(356):93-110.

Patient outcomes after knee replacement.

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Bowen Research Center, Long Hospital, Indianapolis, IN, USA.


A prospective, observational cohort investigation was performed to help understand the impact of knee replacement on patients with knee osteoarthritis in community practice. Of those, 291 patients (330 knees) were eligible and willing to participate. Forty-eight orthopaedic surgeons referred 563 patients from 25 institutions within the state of Indiana. Demographics, patient completed health status, satisfaction, independent radiographic measures, surgeon reported intraoperative factors, hospital discharge factors, and independent physical examinations were recorded. A minimum 2-year followup was obtained in 92% of the patients. At followup, 88% were satisfied, 3% were neutral, and 9% were dissatisfied with the results of their knee surgery. The physical composite score improved from 27.4 +/- 0.4 (range, 13.3-50.3) to 37.7 +/- 0.7 (range, 12.9-61.3) at two years. Maximal improvement in physical composite score was seen in patients who had their surgery performed in institutions that performed greater than 50 knee replacements per year in patients with Medicare insurance; who had a better mental health status at baseline; who had surgery performed on Monday, Friday, or Saturday; who were older; who were treated with a posterior cruciate sparing device; and who had worse preoperative function. A lower likelihood of complications were found with surgeons who performed greater than 20 knee replacements per year; midweek surgeries; in patients with more severe preoperative knee dysfunction; patients with fewer comorbidities; patients with less preoperative stiffness; patients being treated by younger surgeons; and in patients undergoing unilateral knee replacement. Among voluntarily participating physicians, knee replacement can be a highly effective medical technology with high levels of patient satisfaction and low rates of complications.

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