The purpose was to explore the responsiveness of both patient-report and performance-based outcome measures to determine functional changes during the acute and long-term postoperative recovery after total knee arthroplasty (TKA). One hundred patients scheduled for unilateral TKA underwent testing preoperatively and at 1 and 12 months postoperatively using the Delaware Osteoarthritis Profile. All physical performance measures decreased initially after surgery then increased in the long term; however, the perceived function did not follow the same trend, and some showed an increase immediately after surgery. Patient-report measures were variable, with no to small response early, but had excellent long-term responsiveness that was twice as large as performance measures. Patient perception fails to capture the acute functional declines after TKA and may overstate the long-term functional improvement with surgery.
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