Functional improvement after total knee arthroplasty revision: New observations on the dimensional nature of outcome

Kevin J. Mulhall, Hassan M. Ghomrawi, Boris Bershadsky, Khaled J. Saleh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background. Despite the numerous outcomes measures described it remains unclear what aspects of patient outcome are important in determining actual improvement following total knee arthroplasty revisions (TKAR). We performed a prospective cohort study of TKAR to determine the components of clinical improvement and how they are related and best measured. Methods. An improvement scale was devised utilizing data from 186 consecutive TKAR patients on SF-36 physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) components, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) Index, Knee Society Score (KSS), a novel Activity Scale (AS) and a physician derived severity assessment scale performed both preoperatively and at 6 month post-operative follow-up. The change in each of these scores was analyzed using factor analysis, deriving a composite improvement scale. Results. All the instruments demonstrated statistically significantly better scores following TKAR (except the SF-36 MCS). Furthermore, all significant correlations between the scores were positive. Statistical factor analysis demonstrated that scores could be arranged into 4 related factor groupings with high internal consistency (Cronbach Alpha = 0.7). Factor 1 reflected patient perceived functional outcomes, Factor 2 activity levels, Factor 3 the MCS and Factor 4 the KSS. Conclusion. This study demonstrates that improvement following TKAR has a multidimensional structure. The improvement scales represent a more coordinated method of the previously fragmented analysis of TKAR outcomes. This will improve assessment of the actual effectiveness of TKAR for patients and what aspects of improvement are most critical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number25
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


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