The University of York recently developed an Internet site called “After My Surgery”.
This site uses data on preoperative and postoperative patient reported outcomes to compare a prospective patient to others who have had the same surgery. Based on 8 simple patient attributes that you can enter into the algorithm, the site provides a representation of potential outcomes from the planned surgery. The site uses simple terms based on clinical research that has determined important outcome differences to give the patient an idea of the likelihood of success of surgery.
Regarding the patient outcome tool, Dr. Christopher Peer from the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Clinic of Kansas City says, “This tool is a great starting point for patients to open a discussion with their surgeon regarding the likelihood of their own satisfaction with a possible knee replacement.”
“Many surgeons have an expectation regarding any individual patient’s likelihood of being highly satisfied, moderately satisfied or relatively unsatisfied with the outcome of the surgery. Oftentimes surgeons don’t relate that expectation to the patient at the time the decision for surgery is made.”
“More and more we discuss the level of satisfaction of patients with their artificial knee in terms of degrees of satisfaction rather than a 'yes or no' answer. Although knee replacement is considered overwhelmingly successful at restoring joint function and reducing pain, it turns out that some patients although happy with their outcome feel that they have not met all of their desired performance goals.”
There are many different factors that influence the outcome and affect a surgeon’s decision regarding when to offer knee replacement and sometimes which implant or surgical technique to use. The Internet site is obviously not a substitute for you and your surgeon's decision to proceed with knee replacement but can be a great place to start a little background homework on your own.
Dr. Peer provides consultations and second opinions regarding knee replacement surgery at the Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Clinic of Kansas City in Leawood, KS. He is specialty trained in Sports Medicine and has a particular interest in Total and Partial Knee Arthroplasty, and Outcomes and Comparisons of Surgical Techniques. He has also given lectures on Postoperative Pain Control after Knee Replacement and Innovations in TKA Techniques.