The impacts of pre-surgery wait for total knee replacement on pain, function and health-related quality of life six months after surgery

J Eval Clin Pract. 2012 Feb;18(1):111-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2753.2010.01541.x. Epub 2010 Oct 12.


Objective: The purpose of the current study was to assess, in patients scheduled for primary total knee replacement (TKR), the effects of pre-surgery waiting time on pain and functional limitations related to the knee joint undergoing surgery, on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and on contralateral knee pain 6 months after surgery.

Method: A total of 141 patients scheduled for TKR were recruited from three hospitals in Quebec City, Canada, and followed up until 6 months after surgery. Pre-surgery wait, defined as the time between enrolment on the pre-surgery waiting list and surgery, was considered in four categories (≤3, >3-6, >6-9, >9 months). Pain and functional limitations were measured with the Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). HRQoL was measured with the SF-36.

Results: Mean pre-surgery waiting time was 184 (SD: 120.8) days. Six months after TKR, a significant difference was seen between the four groups of pre-surgery wait in terms of HRQoL SF-36 role physical [F(3, 136) = 2.74, P = 0.046] and contralateral knee WOMAC pain [F(3, 136) = 5.78, P = 0.0009] scores. Participants with the longest pre-surgery wait (>9 months) showed the worst scores 6 months after TKR.

Conclusions: Longer pre-surgery waiting time had a negative clinically important impact on HRQoL and contralateral knee pain 6 months after surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / rehabilitation*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • National Health Programs
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Waiting Lists*