Patients are more satisfied than they expected after joint arthroplasty

Published online: Feb 27 2008

Roy Brokelman, Corne van Loon, Job van Susante, Albert van Kampen, Rene Veth

From Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, The Netherlands and University Medical Centre Nijmegen, The Netherlands


The aim of this study was to compare the preoperative patients' expectations with their postoperative satisfaction after arthroplasties of the hip and knee, using a visual analogue scale. The comparison was made in a group of 44 patients after 44 primary knee and hip joint arthroplasties. A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used for the assessment of expectation and satisfaction. The mean preoperative expectation VAS was 14.8 (SD : 14.3). The mean patient satisfaction at time of follow up was 13.0 (SD : 21.1). We found no agreement in the preoperative patient's expectation satisfaction versus postoperative satisfaction (p = 0.66). Moreover in our study, the patients expected to be less satisfied than they actually were at follow-up, which is shown with the Bland and Altman method. It appears that patients are not capable of predicting the outcome of the joint arthroplasty, which could be influenced by negative preoperative information on complications and risks. Pain and functional disability are probably the most important factors for the patients' satisfaction after arthroplasty surgery.