Socioeconomic status does not affect TKA outcomes - Academy News at the 2007 AAOS Annual Meeting

Socioeconomic status does not affect TKA outcomes

By Sally Chapralis

Preoperative data was collected from 974 patients at 13 centers in four counties; patients were checked postoperatively for two years

Patients with lower socioeconomic status (education and income) do experience more pain and lower functional levels prior to total knee arthroplasty (TKA) for osteoarthritis. But an international study finds that they exhibit the same postoperative outcomes as those with higher incomes.

According to researchers for poster exhibit P159, these TKA results differ from studies on other types of medical conditions and surgical interventions in which lower socioeconomic status did negatively impact patient outcome.

Preoperative data was collected from 974 patients at 13 centers in four counties. Data included information such as socioeconomic status, height, weight, comorbid conditions, as well as WOMAC and SF-36 scores. Patients were checked postoperatively for two years.

Patients with lower incomes suffered more severe preoperative pain based on their WOMAC pain scores (p = 0.021). They also had lower function scores (p = 0.039) and showed a greater need for TKA than individuals with higher incomes. However, neither income nor educational level had an effect on the postoperative outcome, as shown in Table 1. Patients with lower incomes seemed capable of compensating for their preoperative scores and experienced postoperative results similar to individuals with higher socioeconomic status.

Researchers include Edward T. Davis, FRCS, of Birmingham, and Elizabeth Anne Lingard, MD, of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, as well as Emil H. Schemitsch, MD, and James P. Waddell, both of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The authors have received both research and miscellaneous support from Stryker.


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