Trajectory of physical activity following total hip and knee arthroplasty: data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) cohort

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Purpose: To determine the prevalence and trajectory of physical activity levels in people before and after total hip (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA). 
Materials and Methods: An analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) (2004/5 to 2014/15) cohort study, a prospective study of community-dwelling older adults. 201 people who received a THA or TKA for the management of osteoarthritis were identified. Physical activity was assessed through the frequency of engagement in sedentary, mild, moderate and high physical activity levels pre-operatively, during the recovery phase and a minimum of two years’ post-operatively. 
Results: There was a statistically significant decrease in physical activity from the pre-arthroplasty phase to the operative-recovery phase (p<0.01), and a significant increase in physical activity from the operative-recovery phase to final follow-up (p=0.05). However, overall there was no significant change in physical activity from pre-operatively to final follow-up where prevalence altered from 8% (95% Confidence Intervals (CI): 5% to 12%) to 13% (95% CI: 9% to 18%)(p=0.15). Increasing age, male gender and greater depressive symptoms were explanatory variables associated with physical inactivity (p<0.02). 
Conclusion: Physical activity does not increase following THA or TKA. A proportion of the arthroplasty population remain physically inactive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Physiotherapy
Issue number4
Early online date28 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


  • joint replacement
  • osteoarthritis
  • longitudinal
  • exercise
  • rehabilitation

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