Prior Pain, Function Predict Outcome for Hip Arthroplasty

No association with waiting time to surgery, but authors suggest early surgery is better

WEDNESDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing revision hip arthroplasty who have less self-reported pain and better function scores than other patients before surgery tend to have better long-term postoperative outcomes, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Aileen M. Davis, Ph.D., from Toronto Western Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of 126 patients undergoing single revision hip arthroplasty to determine the predictors of pain and physical function two years later. The investigators took into account the amount of time the patient waited for surgery and complications during the procedure.

The pain and function scores were 9.4 and 35.4 points, respectively, before the operation and improved to 3.9 and 19.1 points after the operation. The researchers report that preoperative pain and comorbidity were significant predictors of pain at two years, and a similar trend was seen with pre- and postoperative function. Complications during surgery, but not time waited for surgery, predicted a poorer outcome.

"We nevertheless believe that it is preferable to perform revision total hip arthroplasty sooner rather than later, not only to relieve current symptoms but also to lessen the likelihood that function and pain will worsen during the waiting period," the authors write. "If patients must be placed on a waiting list, we recommend frequent evaluations so that changes in their functional or pain status can be addressed."

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