Purpose A growing number of patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is at working age and need to return to work (RTW) after surgery. The aim of this systematic review is to give an overview of the literature regarding RTW after TKA and beneficial and limiting factors influencing this process. Methods A systematic search in four electronic databases was conducted in November 2019 to identify studies describing RTW after primary TKA in patients aged 65 years or younger. Study characteristics and data on work status before and after surgery were extracted. All studies were assessed for risk of bias. Results Fourteen studies published between 2009 and 2019 were included in this review, accounting for a total of 3,073 patients. The percentage of patients working after TKA ranged from 36 to 89%, and the fraction of patients working before and returning to work after surgery ranged from 40 to 98%. Mean time of RTW ranged from 7.7 to 16.6 weeks. Most important factors associated with a slower or no RTW were a more physical nature of employment and preoperative absence from work. The majority of patients undergoing TKA returned to work postoperatively. However, comparison between studies is seriously hampered by the wide variation regarding the definition and timeframe used to measure the work status. Therefore, standardized outcome measures for studies investigating RTW after TKA are warranted. We identify this review as level-I evidence (systematic review of level-I and level-II studies).
Source: Van Leemput D, Neirynck J, Berger P, Vandenneucker H, The journal of knee surgery, 2021 Jan 20.
Purpose The ability of total knee and hip arthroplasty (TKA/THA) to facilitate return to work (RTW) when it is the patient's preoperative intent to do so remains unclear. We aimed at determining whether TKA/THA facilitated RTW in patients of working age who intended to return. Methods This is a prospective cohort study of 173 consecutive patients <65 years of age, undergoing unilateral TKA (n = 82: median age 58; range, 39-65; 36 [43.9%] male) or THA (n = 91: median age 59; range, 34-65; 42 [46.2%] male) during 2018. Oxford knee/hip scores, Oxford-Activity and Participation Questionnaire, and EuroQol-5 dimension (EQ-5D) scores were measured preoperatively and at 1 year when an employment questionnaire was also completed. Results Of patients who intended to RTW, 44 of 52 (84.6%) RTW by 1 year following TKA (at mean 14.8 ± 8.4 weeks) and 53 of 60 (88.3%) following THA (at mean 13.6 ± 7.5 weeks). Failure to RTW despite intent was associated with job physicality for TKA (P = .004) and negative preoperative EQ-5D for THA (P = .01). In patients unable to work before surgery due to joint disease, fewer RTW: 4 of 21 (19.0%) after TKA; and 6 of 17 (35.3%) after THA. Preoperative Oxford knee score >18.5 predicted RTW with 74% sensitivity (P < .001); preoperative Oxford hip score >19.5 predicted RTW with 75% sensitivity (P < .001). Preoperative EQ-5D indices were similarly predictive (P < .001). Conclusion In this United Kingdom study, preoperative intent to RTW was the most powerful predictor of actual RTW following TKA/THA. Where patients intend to RTW following TKA/THA, 85% RTW following TKA and 88% following THA.
Source: Al-Hourani K, MacDonald DJ, Turnbull GS, Breusch SJ, Scott CEH, The Journal of arthroplasty, 2021 Feb; Vol. 36 (2), pp. 434-441
Background Rotator cuff tears are a prevalent pathology in injured workers, causing significant economic ramifications and time away from work. To date, published articles on work outcomes after rotator cuff repair have not been cumulatively assessed and analyzed. Purpose To systematically review reports on return to work after rotator cuff repair and perform a meta-analysis on factors associated with improved work outcomes. Study Design Systematic review and meta-analysis; Level of evidence, 4. Methods A systematic review of return-to-work investigations was performed using PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in accordance with the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Individual studies reporting rates of return to previous work with level of evidence 1 to 4 were independently screened by 2 authors for inclusion, and study quality was assessed using the Methodologic Index for Non-randomized Studies and Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Work outcome data were synthesized and analyzed using random effects modeling to identify differences in rates of return to previous work as a function of operative technique, work intensity, and workers' compensation status. Results Thirteen retrospective investigations comprising 1224 patients who underwent rotator cuff repair met inclusion criteria for this investigation. Across all investigations, a weighted average of 62.3% of patients returned to previous level of work at 8.15 ± 2.7 months (mean ± SD) after surgery. Based on random effects modeling, higher rates of return to previous work were identified with decreasing work intensity ( P < .001), while rates were similar between open and arthroscopic repair technique ( P = .418) and between workers' compensation and non-workers' compensation cohorts ( P = .089). All shoulder pain and functional outcome assessments demonstrated significant improvements at final follow-up when compared with baseline across all investigations. Conclusion The majority of injured workers undergoing rotator cuff repair return to previous work at approximately 8 months after surgery. Despite this, >35% of patients are unable to return to their previous work level after their repair procedure. Similar rates of return to work can be anticipated regardless of workers' compensation status and operative technique, while patients in occupations with higher physical intensity experience inferior work outcomes.
Source: Haunschild ED, Gilat R, Lavoie-Gagne O, Fu MC, Tauro T, Forsythe B, Cole BJ, The American journal of sports medicine, 2021 Jan 04.
Purpose The study's aim was to gain insights into factors influencing sustainable return to work following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Design A descriptive multiple-case design was used. A case was defined as a worker's following TKA work disability situation. Settings The cases came from public hospitals in urban and semi-urban areas in Quebec (Canada) and involved mostly non-work-related TKAs. Subjects Workers had to be between 6 and 12 months post-TKA, have physical/manual jobs and currently employed. Their rehabilitation professionals and workplace representatives (employer and/or union) were also recruited, based on the work disability paradigm. Methods Semi-structured interviews, questionnaires on pain, physical work demands (workers only), and observation of the work activities of those workers back at work were used. Cases were compared and categorized for worker-perceived levels of difficulty in returning to or staying at work: little or no difficulty (n = 8); some difficulty (n = 5); not back at work due to excessive difficulty with their knee (n = 4). Results A total of 17 cases were constituted. In only one case, the worker benefitted from an interdisciplinary work rehabilitation approach. Results highlight the interplay among these factors: (1) the workers' perceptions of their residual symptoms and ability to manage them, (2) the interaction between work adjustments and tools offered by the employers and the workers' own strategies, and (3) perceptions of the workers' physical capacities. Conclusions Workers' who face high levels of work demands/difficulties and who have limited access to work adjustments and tools should be referred for work rehabilitation.
Source: Coutu MF, Gaudreault N, Major ME, Nastasia I, Dumais R, Deshaies A, Pettigrew S, Labrecque ME, Desmeules F, Maillette P, Clinical rehabilitation, 2020 Dec.
PurposeThis study aimed to identify factors contributing to the timing of return to work after surgical treatment of trapeziometacarpal joint osteoarthritis and to calculate the costs of lost productivity. Methods We included 627 patients with paid employment who underwent trapeziectomy and ligament reconstruction with tendon interposition. Time to return to work was measured through filling online questionnaires and analysed using survival analysis at 6 weeks and 3, 6 and 12 months after the surgery. Patients also filled in the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire. Costs of lost productivity were calculated using the human capital method. After 1 year, 78% of the patients returned to work. Results The median time to return to work was 12 weeks. Factors that significantly affected the time to return to work were occupational intensity (light, moderate or heavy physical labour), whether the dominant hand was treated and the Michigan Hand Outcomes Questionnaire work score and hand function score of the unoperated side at baseline. The costs of lost productivity were estimated at €11,000 on the patient level, resulting in €16.8 million on the Dutch population level per year.
Source: van der Oest MJW, Teunissen JS, Poelstra R, Feitz R, Burdorf A, Selles RW, Hand-Wrist Study Group, The Journal of hand surgery, European volume, 2020 Dec 07.