What are the determinants for return to work after primary total knee arthroplasty?


Total knee arthroplasty ; return to work ; determinants.

Published online: Feb 13 2021

Anthony Timmerman, Pieter Berger, Lode Godderis, Hilde Vandenneucker

From the University Hospitals of Leuven, Belgium


Total knee arthroplasty is increasingly performed on patients of working age, although little is known about return to work. This study aims to analyse the return to work percentage in a Belgian population and to identify underlying determinants.

Data was gathered by analysing patients’ files and sending a questionnaire to patients aged ≤ 62 years who underwent a total knee arthroplasty between January 2013 and December 2017 in the University Hospitals of Leuven.

A total of 99 patients were included in the study and 66 patients returned to work. Significant factors included preoperative sick leave, availability of job adaptations, employment type and postoperative Knee Society Score.

The return to work percentage of 67% in this Belgian population is slightly lower in comparison with similar studies in other countries. This difference could be driven by Belgium’s specific insurance system or due to a lack of clear prescription guidelines for medical doctors.