According to a report presented at the 2011 World Congress on Osteoarthritis, patients who have severe pain within the first 3 months following total knee replacement surgery have worse pain and function at one and 2 years post-op and are less satisfied with the procedure than patients who do not experience severe pain within the first 3 months. Patients who are depressed and those who view their pain level as worse than it actually is also are more likely to experience severe post-op pain.
About 15% of patients experience severe pain after knee replacement surgery, but until now, it was not associated necessarily with poor long-term outcomes. Researchers concluded there was a link after studying WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index scores of a group of 622 patients who had knee replacement surgery. Researchers suggested that cognitive behavioral therapy, pain management, and antidepressants may be helpful when indicated before surgery or after -- as well as considering surgery sooner, before pain becomes too severe.
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