An evaluation of patients’ quality of life before, 6 weeks and 6 months after total hip replacement surgery
Annually, throughout the world, more than 800 000 primary total hip replacement surgery procedures are performed on patients suffering from hip joint arthrosis. Since 1991, ≈11 000 of these procedures are performed annually in Sweden. This study aimed to investigate any changes in the patients’ life quality 6 weeks and 6 months after their total hip replacement surgery had been performed, compared to that immediately prior to the operation. It also aimed to examine the reason for surgery, the types of prostheses used, postoperative pain, complications and the actual usage of ambulation support. The Sickness Impact Profile self-appraisal instrument, together with personal patient interviews have been used as the basis of the research. A total of 51 patients responded to the quality of life instrument prior to their operation, 47 of these participated 6 weeks after the operation, and 40 patients 6 months after the operation. Significant differences in patients’ total, physical and psychosocial quality of life 6 months postoperatively compared to the situation prior to the operation were found, but not between the situation before and 6 weeks after the total hip replacement surgery. The majority of patients were of the opinion that it was more important that the pain had disappeared or decreased, than any overall increase in the quality of life. Postoperative complications occurred within 6 weeks, and even after 6 months some patients still suffered from these.