Discordance in TKA Expectations Between Patients and Surgeons

Background Aligning patient and surgeon expectations preoperatively may lead to better postoperative medical and rehabilitation compliance and therefore improve outcomes and increase satisfaction.

Questions/Purposes We (1) determined the rate of dis- cordantly high patient expectations compared with those of their surgeon in patients undergoing TKA; and (2) evalu- ated the impact of the preoperative educational class, patient characteristics, and functional status on the likeli- hood of having discordantly high patient expectations.

Methods We enrolled 205 patients awaiting TKA. Each patient completed a validated questionnaire that addresses expectations of postoperative pain relief, function, and well-being as part of a preoperative assessment. The sur- geon completed the same expectations questionnaire preoperatively blinded to their patient’s response. Patients had discordantly high expectations if their scores were C 7 points higher than the surgeon on a 0 to 100 score range. Regression analysis was performed to determine the effect of class, patient characteristics, and functional status on the likelihood of having discordantly high patient expectations. Results Thirty-seven percent of the patients had expec- tation scores C 7 points higher than those of their surgeon. Patients were less likely to have discordantly higher expectations if they were female (OR, 0.56; CI, 0.32–0.97) and if their pain level was high (OR, 0.99; CI, 0.98–0.99). Patients were more likely to have discordantly higher expectations if they filled out the expectations survey before rather than after the preoperative educational class (OR, 1.80; CI, 1.08–3.01).

Conclusions With increasing TKA use, surgeons will likely encounter more patients with discordantly high expectations. The preoperative educational class can be used to target patients more likely to have discordantly high expectations.

Level of Evidence Level I, prognostic study. See Guide- lines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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