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Three groups of dissatisfied patients exist after total knee arthroplasty: early, persistent, and late

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The primary aim of this study was to assess whether patient satisfaction one year after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) changed with longer follow-up. The secondary aims were to identify predictors of satisfaction at one year, persistence of patient dissatisfaction, and late onset dissatisfaction in patients that were originally satisfied at one year.

Patients and Methods

A retrospective cohort consisting of 1369 patients undergoing a primary TKA for osteoarthritis that had not undergone revision were identified from an established arthroplasty database. Patient demographics, comorbidities, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores, and Short Form 12 (SF-12) questionnaire scores were collected preoperatively, and one and five years postoperatively. In addition, patient satisfaction was assessed at one and five years postoperatively. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify independent predictors of satisfaction at one and five years.


The overall rate of satisfaction did not change from one (91.7%, n = 1255) to five (90.1%, n = 1234) years (p = 0.16). Approximately half (n = 53/114) of the patients who were dissatisfied at one year became satisfied with their TKA at five years, whereas 6% (n = 74/1255) of those who were satisfied at one year became dissatisfied at five years. At one year, patients with lung disease (p = 0.04), with depression (p = 0.001), with back pain (p <  0.001), undergoing unilateral TKA (p = 0.001), or with a worse preoperative WOMAC pain score (p = 0.04) were more likely to be dissatisfied. Patients with gastric ulceration (p = 0.04) and a worse WOMAC stiffness score (p = 0.047) were at increased risk of persistent dissatisfaction at five years. In contrast, a worse WOMAC pain score (p = 0.01) at one year was a predictor of dissatisfaction in previously satisfied patients at five years.


Three groups of dissatisfied patients exist after TKA: ‘early’ dissatisfaction at one year, ‘persistent’ dissatisfaction with longer follow-up, and ‘late’ dissatisfaction developing in previously satisfied patients at one year. All three groups have different independent predictors of satisfaction, and potentially addressing risk factors specific to these groups may improve patient outcome and their satisfaction.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2018;100-B:161–9.

Correspondence should be sent to N. D. Clement; email:

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