Introduction: The coronavirus outbreak causes postponement of elective surgery. We evaluated how pain, function and general health were impacted by postponing elective knee and hip arthroplasty in patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis with no known surgery rescheduling date due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Methods: This study included 194 patients from a Danish public hospital with postponed elective primary knee or hip arthroplasty due to the lockdown. Patients responded to questionnaires when their surgery was cancelled and before surgery. Changes in pain and function were evaluated with the Oxford Knee and Hip Scores (OKS, OHS) and their general health with the EuroQol 5-dimension scale (EQ5D). Additionally, we asked about the patients' concerns and whether they felt improved, unchanged or deteriorated during the waiting period.
Results: Complete data were obtained for 110 (57%) patients, 59 and 51 awaiting knee or hip arthroplasty (median age 71 years, 62% were female), respectively. Arthroplasty was postponed for a median (range) 98 (63-161) days. A total of 34% were concerned that the postponement would lead to a poorer outcome. Mean OKS and OHS differences were 0 (95% confidence interval (CI): -1-1) and -1 (95% CI: -2-0) from surgery cancellation to re-scheduled surgery. The mean EQ5D index difference was 0.0 (95% CI: 0.0-0.1) for both groups. A total of 75 (68%) patients felt an important deterioration of their condition.
Conclusions: Pre-operatively, patients worried about experiencing an altered treatment outcome due to postponed surgery and felt that their condition had deteriorated during the waiting period although this was not reflected in patient-reported outcome measures.
Funding: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Trial registration: not relevant.
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