Chronic pain following total hip arthroplasty: a nationwide questionnaire study

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2006 Apr;50(4):495-500. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.2006.00976.x.


Background: Chronic post-operative pain is a well-recognized problem after various types of surgery, but little is known about chronic pain after orthopedic surgery. Severe pre-operative pain is the primary indication for total hip arthroplasty (THA). Therefore, we examined the prevalence of chronic pain after THA in relation to pre-operative pain and early post-operative pain.

Methods: A questionnaire was sent to 1231 consecutive patients who had undergone THA 12-18 months previously, and whose operations had been reported to the Danish Hip Arthroplasty Registry.

Results: The response rate was 93.6%. Two hundred and ninety-four patients (28.1%) had chronic ipsilateral hip pain at the time of completion of the questionnaire, and pain limited daily activities to a moderate, severe or very severe degree in 12.1%. The chronic pain state was related to the recalled intensity of early post-operative pain [95% confidence interval (CI), 20.4-33.4%] and pain complaints from other sites of the body (95% CI, 20.7-32.1%), but not to the pre-operative intensity of pain.

Conclusion: Chronic pain after THA seems to be a significant problem in at least 12.1% of patients. Our results suggest that genetic and psychosocial factors are important for the development of chronic post-THA pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / surgery*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / epidemiology*
  • Paresthesia / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires