Our previous study showed that 6 months after total hip arthroplasty (THA) or total knee arthroplasty (TKA), patients reported having less difficulty with daily activities, showed better functional capacity, and performed activities in their natural environment faster compared to preoperatively. However, their actual daily activity level was not significantly improved. Six months is a rather short follow-up period and the discrepancy in recovery among different aspects of functioning might be explained by this limited duration of follow-up. The objective of the present study was to examine the recovery of different aspects of physical functioning at a follow-up nearly 4 years after THA/TKA. Special attention was given to the actual daily activity level, and whether it had increased 4 years after THA/TKA compared to 6 months postoperatively. Seventy-seven (35 hip, 42 knee) patients who were measured preoperatively and postoperatively (6 months after surgery) in a previous study were invited to participate; 44 patients (23 hip, 21 knee) agreed to participate. The 4-year follow-up data were compared with the preoperative and 6-month postoperative data.The daily activity level after 4 years was found to be actually lower than at 6 months post-surgery (128. min vs. 138. min activity per 24. h; p-value 0.48). However, the patients continued to improve in other aspects of physical functioning.In conclusion, 4-year post-surgery patients continued to improve on perceived physical functioning, capacity, and performance of activities in daily life. However, even in this relatively healthy study population, patients did not adopt a more active lifestyle 4 years after surgery.

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doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2012.12.007, hdl.handle.net/1765/70745
Gait & Posture
Department of Orthopaedics

Vissers, M., Bussmann, H., de Groot, I., Verhaar, J., & Reijman, M. (2013). Physical functioning four years after total hip and knee arthroplasty. Gait & Posture, 38(2), 310–315. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2012.12.007