The objective of this literature review was to examine the relationship between expectations and satisfaction in patients undergoing primary total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Five databases were searched from inception to July 2011. Five studies were eligible on the following inclusion criteria: primary TKA, diagnosis of knee osteoarthritis, presurgery outcome measures, a measure of patient expectations and satisfaction, multivariate analysis of the relationship between expectations and satisfaction reported separately for TKA recipients, and English language. Preoperative expectations did not correlate with postoperative satisfaction. However, postoperative satisfaction was predicted by how well postoperative expectations were met after surgery. Therefore, patient education programs for managing expectations should span part of the postoperative recovery period.
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