Objective: To document and examine the concerns patients have prior to undergoing primary total hip or total knee arthroplasty in a tertiary care center or an orthopedic private practice group.
Patients and methods: In this prospective survey, 136 patients from a tertiary care center and 130 from an orthopedic private practice group completed a questionnaire covering 54 items regarding their concerns prior to undergoing primary total hip or total knee arthroplasty. Patients responded on a visual analog scale, and concern was ranked by mean responses (1, not concerned at all; 2, somewhat concerned; 3, very concerned; or 4, extremely concerned).
Results: Responses to only 6 items averaged scores higher than 1.9: pain immediately after the surgery (2.07), length of recovery (2.07), ability to walk as much as you wish (2.03), ability to return to recreational activities (1.97), ability to go up and down stairs (1.94), and risk of getting acquired immunodeficiency syndrome from a transfusion (1.92). Older patients (> or = 65 years) were less concerned than younger patients (< 65 years) in 34 of the 54 questions asked. Women were more concerned than men in 19 of the 54 questions asked.
Conclusion: These data provide information that will be helpful in preoperative patient discussions and in development of educational materials for patients undergoing total hip or total knee arthroplasty.