Women Recover Faster Than Men after Standard Knee Arthroplasty
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Specific anatomic differences are believed to account for gender-specific function and health-related quality of life after TKA. However, there are conflicting data in the literature regarding these gender-specific outcomes, especially as woman appear to have surgery later in the course of the disease compared with men.
We asked whether (1) women had worse knee function and health-related quality of life after TKA compared with men, (2) lower improvements in scores, and (3) slower recovery after surgery.
Using a cohort study design, we retrospectively analyzed prospectively collected data from three multicenter randomized controlled trials evaluating rehabilitation measures after standard unisex knee arthroplasty in 494 patients (141 men and 353 women). The primary outcome was self-reported physical function as measured by the WOMAC at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after surgery. Secondary outcomes included the pain and stiffness scales of the WOMAC and the physical and mental component summaries of the SF-36. At the time of surgery, the women were on average older (70.8 versus 67.8 years), had lower mean physical function (55 versus 47), higher mean pain scores (54 versus 48), and greater stiffness (54 versus 46) as measured by the WOMAC.
At the 3-, 6-, 12-, and 24-month followups, men and women had similar WOMAC scores. Improvements were greater for women compared with men for WOMAC function and pain subscale scores at the 3-month (function, 28 versus 23; pain, 32 versus 25) and 6-month followups (function, 32 versus 27; pain, 36 versus 31). At the 12- and 24-month followups we noted no differences in improvement between men and women.
Although women had greater functional limitations at the time of surgery than men, they recover faster early after standard TKA although function is similar at 12 and 24 months. Women also had greater improvement of WOMAC scores after standard TKA than men.
Level of Evidence
Level II, prognostic study. See the guidelines for authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
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- Women Recover Faster Than Men after Standard Knee Arthroplasty
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®
Volume 469, Issue 10 , pp 2855-2865
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