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Back pain hinders healing after knee replacement

Patients with low back pain take significantly longer to recover from knee arthroplasty according to a new UK study.

Researchers at Glasgow Royal Infirmary studied outcomes in 345 patients two years after undergoing total knee arthroplasty.

The procedure greatly improved functional outcomes in the 40 patients with – and the 305 patients without – lower back pain.

But those with LBP had Oxford Knee Scores (OKS) that were a significant 5 points lower after surgery than those for patients without back pain, and these patients scored a significant 6 points lower for general physical health on the SF-12.

Also, patients with LBP showed no improvement in overall mental health, unlike those without such pain.

LBP was also associated with a significantly higher rate of revisions, after excluding those due to infections and unlikely to be related to LBP, at 7.5% versus 1.0%.

The study was published in the latest edition of The Knee.

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