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OBJECTIVES: (1) To determine evidence-based guidance for the length of time to return to specific valued functional and leisure activities after knee arthroplasty (KA). (2) To determine what patients feel are the most important functional or leisure activities to recover after KA. (3) To collect information about patients' expectations and compare them to the actual time it takes to return. DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal cohort observational survey. SETTING: Specialist orthopedic hospital. PARTICIPANTS: Patients (N=99) with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis (mean=69.9y [range 44-88]) listed for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or unicompartmental knee arthroplasty. INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Valued activities list (VAL) used to select activities patients expect to return to and report the actual time taken to return. RESULTS: Participants in unicompartmental knee arthroplasty group returned to the 6 most popular valued activities (walking >1km, stair climbing, housework, driving, gardening, and kneeling) 8%-33% more quickly than TKA group, and they were satisfied with performing these activities sooner on average (4%-18%) than the TKA group. The percentage of participants satisfied at 12 months postsurgery ranged from 96% returning to housework to 36% returning to kneeling. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare the expected time and the actual time to return: Housework (Z=-5.631, P<.05, effect size=0.64) and swimming (Z=-3.209, P<.05, effect size=0.59) were quicker than expected, and walking >1 km (Z=-2.324, P<.05, effect size=0.27) was slower than expected. CONCLUSIONS: A more tailored and personalized approach with consideration of prior level of activity and comorbidities must be taken into account and adequately discussed to help bridge the gap between the expected and actual recovery time.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch phys med rehabil

Publication Date





2230 - 2237


Arthroplasty, Patient education, Rehabilitation, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Female, Humans, Knee, Leisure Activities, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Patient Satisfaction, Postoperative Period, Prospective Studies, Recovery of Function, Return to Sport, Time Factors