Patient interpretations of knee joint stiffness before and after total knee arthroplasty

Lane, Judith V and Simpson, Hamish and Howie, Colin and Macmillan, Fiona (2011) Patient interpretations of knee joint stiffness before and after total knee arthroplasty. Arthritis Care and Research. ISSN 2151-4658 (Submitted)

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Objective: to compare patients’ severity and interpretations of stiffness of the knee joint prior to, and following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Methods: Self-perceived knee stiffness of patients who were scheduled to undergo primary TKA for osteoarthritis (OA) within the next 6 weeks (n=40) was compared to that reported by patients who had undergone TKA (n=76) in the previous 10-14 months. Participants completed a questionnaire which comprised a self-reported rating scale for knee joint stiffness in the affected knee (0-100). They were also asked to circle any words from a selection which they felt described their stiffness. Words were grouped into categories: stiff, pain, difficulty with movement and sensation. Words were presented in random order and the category blinded to the participants. Results: Participants in the OA group (median = 60, IQR = 47.8) reported significantly higher levels of stiffness (p < 0.001) than the TKA group (median = 20, IQR = 32.0). The OA group also used significantly more words (median = 4, IQR = 5.8) to describe their stiffness then the TKA group (median = 1, IQR = 3.0, p < 0.001). All participants tended to use words from more than one category to describe their knee joint stiffness although the OA group were more likely to use words from the pain category (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Ambiguity exists in the interpretation of stiffness which casts doubt upon the validity on the usefulness of stiffness as either a diagnostic, prognostic or evaluative tool in the management of OA.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Physiotherapy
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2011 09:55
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2013 09:37

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