Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee; Quality of Life


Osteoarthritis is the most common referring diagnosis for total knee replacement surgery. It is estimated that one-third of community-living persons between the ages of 63 and 94 have osteoarthritis of the knee. It is further estimated that fully 40% of these people experience pain. Many of these people look for relief in total knee replacement surgery. Total knee replacement surgeries are a costly procedure commonly performed. There were approximately 210,000 primary knee replacements performed in 1994. This resulted in an estimated cost of $5 billion.

The purpose of this paper is to examine quality of life and its association with total knee replacement surgery. It is expected that quality of life will improve. However, is the increase in quality of life justified by the expense? This literature review will provide information to the health care provider as well as the consumer. Better decisions regarding health care dollar expenditure can be made given this quality of life information. This baseline quality of life information can be combined with the patient's goals to determine appropriate intervention. lf the quality of life will not be greatly improved, surgical intervention could be postponed. On the other hand, if patient's goals and baseline quality of life illustrate opportunity for improvement, surgery may be indicated. The most efficacious interventions must provide the greatest benefit to the patient while at the same time limiting the associated costs.