The effect of age, sex, area deprivation, and living arrangements on total knee replacement outcomes: A study involving the United Kingdom National Joint Registry dataset

Hannah B. Edwards, Michèle Smith, Emily Herrett, Alexander MacGregor, Ashley Blom, Yoav Ben-Shlomo

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Background: Total knee replacement (TKR) is a common procedure for the treatment of osteoarthritis that provides a substantial reduction of knee pain and improved function in most patients. We investigated whether sociodemographic factors could explain variations in the benefit resulting from TKR. Methods: Data were collected from 3 sources: the National Joint Registry for England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Isle of Man; National Health Service (NHS) England Patient Reported Outcome Measures; and Hospital Episode Statistics. These 3 sources were linked for analysis. Pain and function of the knee were measured with use of the Oxford Knee Score (OKS). The risk factors of interest were age group, sex, deprivation, and social support. The outcomes of interest were sociodemographic differences in preoperative scores, 6-month postoperative scores, and change in scores. Results: Ninety-one thousand nine hundred and thirty-six adults underwent primary TKR for the treatment of osteoarthritis in an NHS England unit from 2009 to 2012. Sixty-six thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine of those patients had complete knee score data and were included in the analyses for the present study. The preoperative knee scores were worst in female patients, younger patients, and patients from deprived areas. At 6 months postoperatively, the mean knee score had improved by 15.2 points. There were small sociodemographic differences in the benefit of surgery, with greater area deprivation (−0.71 per quintile of increase in deprivation; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.76 to −0.66; p < 0.001) and younger age group (−3.51 for ≤50 years compared with 66 to 75 years; 95% CI, −4.00 to −3.02; p < 0.001) associated with less benefit. Cumulatively, sociodemographic factors explained <1% of the total variability in improvement. Conclusions: Sociodemographic factors have a small influence on the benefit resulting from TKR. However, as they are associated with the clinical threshold at which the procedure is performed, they do affect the eventual outcomes of TKR. Level of Evidence: Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0042
JournalJBJS Open Access
Issue number2
Early online date24 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2018

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