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ObjectivesTo explore people’s views of recovery from total knee replacement (TKR) and which recovery domains they felt were important.DesignSemi-structured interviews exploring the views of individuals about to undergo or who have undergone TKR. A constant-comparative approach with thematic analysis was used to identify themes. The process of sampling, collecting data and analysis were continuous and iterative throughout the study, with interviews ceasing once thematic saturation was achieved.SettingTertiary care centre.ParticipantsA purposive sample was used to account for variables including pre, early or late postoperative status.Results12 participants were interviewed, 4 who were preoperative, 4 early postoperative and 4 late postoperative. Themes of pain, function, fear of complications, awareness of the artificial knee joint and return to work were identified. Subthemes of balancing acute and chronic pain were identified.ConclusionsThe results of this interview-based study identify pain and function, in particular mobility, that were universally important to those undergoing TKR. Surgeons should consider exploring these domains when taking informed consent to enhance shared decision-making. Researchers should consider these recovery domains when designing interventional studies.

Original publication




Journal article


Bmj open



Publication Date





e080795 - e080795