Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate sports activities and functional abilities in patients following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). It was hypothesized that patients who had undergone TKA would return to a higher activity level as that experienced preoperatively.
Methods: Two hundred patients were included in this prospective single-cohort study. All the patients completed subjective questionnaires (Tegner Activity Level, Oxford Knee Score, Visual Analog Scale for pain) prior to surgery as well as at 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. Additionally, sports behaviour was evaluated. Sports frequency was divided into four categories: more than 5 times a week, 2-3 times a week, occasionally, and no sports activities. Additionally, the patients were asked to state their three favourite summer and winter sports.
Results: All patient-reported outcome scores improved significantly over time (p ≤ 0.005). The Tegner Activity Level increased significantly from the preoperative state to 24 months postsurgery (p = 0.005). Six months after surgery, 43% of the patients returned to the same and 35% to a higher Tegner Activity Level than prior to surgery. Gender-related differences were observed for the Tegner Activity Level showing a higher activity level for the male than for the female patients. Overall, 24 months postsurgery 83% of the patients practiced sports in comparison with 79% prior to surgery.
Conclusions: Following TKA, the patients were able to increase sports performance, while pain was reduced. Therefore, patients who want to continue their desired sports may safely consider TKA.
Level of evidence: II.
Keywords: Functional abilities; Oxford Knee Score; Sports activity; Tegner Activity Level; Total knee arthroplasty; Visual Analog Scale.