No association between preoperative physical activity level and time to return to work in patients after total hip or knee arthroplasty: A prospective cohort study

Purpose

It is important for patients of working age to resume work after total hip or knee arthroplasty (THA/TKA). A higher preoperative level of physical activity is presumed to lead to a better or faster recovery. Aim is to examine the association between preoperative physical activity (PA) level (total and leisure-time) and time to return-to-work (RTW).

Methods

A prospective multicenter survey study. Time to RTW was defined as the length of time (days) from surgery to RTW. PA level was assessed with the SQUASH questionnaire. Questionnaires were filled in before surgery and 6 weeks and 3, 6 and 12 months post-surgery. Multiple regression analyses were conducted separately for THA and TKA patients.

Results

243 patients were enrolled. Median age was 56 years; 58% had undergone a THA. Median time to RTW was 85 (THA) and 93 (TKA) days. In the multiple regression analysis, neither preoperative total PA level nor leisure-time PA level were significantly associated with time to RTW.

Conclusions

Preoperative physical activity level is not associated with a shorter time to RTW in either THA or TKA patients. Neither preoperative total PA level nor leisure-time PA level showed an association with time to RTW, even after adjusting for covariates.

Trial registry

Dutch Trial Register: NTR3497.