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Knee arthroplasty: a window of opportunity to improve physical activity in daily life, sports and work
  1. Pieter Coenen1,
  2. Carlien Straat1,2,
  3. P Paul Kuijer2
  1. 1Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Public and Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam Movement Sciences Research Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pieter Coenen; p.coenen{at}amsterdamumc.nl

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Knee arthroplasty is an issue for many and societal participation after surgery is important

Unicompartmental and total knee arthroplasty are well established treatment options, primarily aimed at reducing pain and improving joint function for patients with end-stage knee osteoarthritis.1 Although most patients receiving knee arthroplasty have good clinical outcomes, core outcome definitions suggest that societal participation after surgery is not a primary treatment goal.2 This is unfortunate as the number of patients receiving arthroplasty is rapidly increasing. In the Netherlands, a 297% growth in knee arthroplasties is expected between 2005 and 2030,3 with half of the patients of working age due the rising pension age and increasing trends in osteoarthritis among younger people. In particular for these ‘younger’ patients, societal participation including activities of daily life, sport and work is essential.4

Knee arthroplasty may improve physical activity and sports participation

In BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, Konings and colleagues5 reported on a systematic review on 19 studies (n=4074 participants) on physical activity and sports participation before and after knee arthroplasty. The authors found that knee arthroplasty, in general, has positive effects on physical activity and sports participation. Physical activity and sports participation return to levels similar to those before the osteoarthritis symptoms and is fortunately much higher compared with presurgery. Only high-impact sports were less frequently resumed after surgery. Furthermore, patients who remained active until the surgery were also most active after surgery, while patients who stopped participating in physical activities and sports prior to surgery were less likely to restart postsurgery.

The importance of physical activity and other forms of societal participation

Physical activity is …

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