Despite the effectiveness of total knee arthroplasty (TKA; knee replacement surgery), patients often have lingering pain and dysfunction. Recent studies have raised concerns that preoperative mental health may negatively affect outcomes after TKA. The primary aim of this study from Melnic et al. investigates the relationship between patient-reported mental health and postoperative physical function following TKA.
The study found that poor mental health should not be a contraindication for performing TKA. For patients with the lowest mental health scores, physicians should account for the possibility that physical function scores may deteriorate a year after surgery. Tighter follow-up guidelines, more frequent physical therapy visits, or treatment for mental health issues may be considered to counter such deterioration.