Total knee arthroplasty and the unforeseen impact on return to work: a cross-sectional multicenter survey

J Arthroplasty. 2014 Jun;29(6):1163-8. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2014.01.004. Epub 2014 Jan 10.


The number of patients receiving a TKA during working life is increasing but little is known about the impact of TKA on patients' reintegration into the workplace. In this cross-sectional survey it was found that 173 of 480 responders worked within 2 years prior to surgery. Sixty-three percent of the working patients stopped within two weeks prior to surgery and 102 patients returned within 6 months. One third never returned to work. Activities that most improved were operating foot pedals, operating vehicles, standing and walking on level terrain. Activities that least improved were kneeling, crouching and clambering. Fifty patients scored 5 or less on the Work Ability Index. Thirty patients were dissatisfied. TKA significantly, but unequally, reduces difficulties in carrying out knee-burdening work activities.

Keywords: WORQ; patient reported outcome measures (PROMs); physical work demands; return to work (RTW); total knee arthroplasty (TKA); work ability.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis / surgery*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Recovery of Function
  • Return to Work*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires