Both primary total hip (THA) and knee (TKA) arthroplasty relieve pain, restore function, and increase mobility. Despite these successes, there is controversy as to whether THA or TKA provides greater or similar improvement. We therefore compared primary THA and TKA patient results in terms of (1) willingness to have surgery again; (2) WOMAC change score; (3) whether expectations were met; and (4) satisfaction. Patients undergoing primary THA were more willing to undergo their surgery again (THA 96%, TKA 89%), demonstrated greater WOMAC change scores, more frequently reported their expectations were met (THA 78%, TKA 70%), and expressed greater overall satisfaction (THA 89%, TKA 81%). In addition, patients undergoing THA expressed higher satisfaction with pain reduction while performing activities (ie, walking, stairs, and sitting/lying) and their ability to perform daily activities (ie, stairs, transportation, getting up, lying in bed, and light domestic duties) when compared with patients undergoing TKA. Our data suggest primary THA offers superior short-term outcomes when compared with primary TKA.
Level of evidence: Level II, prognostic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.