Knee Osteoarthritis: Impact on Quality of Life and Effectiveness of Total Knee Arthroplasty

Background: Arthrosis has a huge impact due to its consequences on suffering and function loss and because it damages the well-being and the physical, emotional and social aspects of Health-Related Quality of Life. Our objective was to assess the influence of Knee Osteoarthritis and Total Knee Arthroplasty on the perception of the patients with regard to their quality of life, before and after the intervention. Method: We carried out a quasi-experimental intervention study with a before and after design in a sample of 125 patients with knee osteoarthritis who were assessed before and after the operation. They all were operated by the same orthopedic surgeon and with the same type of total knee arthroplasty between the year 2008 and 2012. The Health-Related Quality of Life was assessed with the questionnaire SF-36. Results: We have observed that knee osteoarthritis significantly affects all the dimensions of Health-Related Quality of Life before the operation and that all the dimensions included in the SF-36 show a clinical improvement after the intervention with total knee arthroplasty. When the results of the different scales of quality of life from the SF-36 are compared between the patients in our study and the general population in Spain, only Social Functioning is lower, while five dimensions show similar levels and two of them, Role-Emotional and Mental Health, show an improvement. Therefore, we can state that the operation of total knee arthroplasty significantly improves Health-Related Quality of Life in all its dimensions and components, except for Physical Functioning and Role-Physical, although they also improve over time after the operation. Conclusion: Total knee arthroplasty is justified according to the perception of clinical improvement and the improvement of Health-Related Quality of Life reported by the patients.


Marcos E Fernandez-Cuadros

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