Study shows positive worker outcomes after total knee replacement

March 27, 2013

​Chicago – Total knee replacements may help many employees with arthritis or a knee injury return to work, finds a new study from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

An independent center surveyed and interviewed 661 total-knee-replacement patients from five medical centers up to five years after the surgery. Of patients who had worked before their surgery, 98 percent were able to return to work, and 89 percent went back to their previous position, an AAOS press release states.

The patients’ physical job demands were classified as sedentary, light, medium, heavy or very heavy. Return to work was highest among workers in heavy jobs (98 percent), followed by sedentary employees (95 percent) and workers in light jobs (91 percent).

Researchers said patients’ activity level five years after total-knee-replacement surgery was influenced by factors such as body mass index, primary or secondary osteoarthritis diagnosis, and how active patients were beforehand.

The study was presented March 21 at the AAOS Annual Meeting.