Objectives To investigate the rates of return to work and workability among working-age people following total hip arthroplasty (THA).
Methods Participants from the Geneva Arthroplasty Registry and the Clinical Outcomes for Arthroplasty Study aged 18–64 years when they had primary THA and with at least 5 years’ follow-up were mailed a questionnaire 2017–2019. Information was collected about preoperative and post-THA employment along with exposure to physically demanding activities at work or in leisure. Patterns of change of job were explored. Survival analyses using Cox proportional hazard models were created to explore risk factors for having to stop work because of difficulties with the replaced hip.
Results In total, 825 returned a questionnaire (response 58%), 392 (48%) men, mean age 58 years, median follow-up 7.5 years post-THA. The majority (93%) of those who worked preoperatively returned to work, mostly in the same sector but higher rates of non-return (36%–41%) were seen among process, plant and machine operatives and workers in elementary occupations. 7% reported subsequently leaving work because of their replaced hip and the risk of this was strongly associated with: standing >4 hours/day (HR 3.81, 95% CI 1.62 to 8.96); kneeling/squatting (HR 3.32, 95% CI 1.46 to 7.55) and/or carrying/lifting ≥10 kg (HR 5.43, 95% CI 2.29 to 12.88).
Conclusions It may be more difficult to return to some (particularly physically demanding) jobs post-THA than others. Rehabilitation may need to be targeted to these types of workers or it may be that redeployment or job change counselling are required.
- occupational health
- longitudinal studies
Data availability statement
Data are available on reasonable request. The dataset containing occupational and leisure information on the Clinical Outcomes in Arthroplasty Study is subject to MRC confidentiality and data sharing regulations. Researchers requesting access to the data may contact KWB (firstname.lastname@example.org) and NKA (email@example.com). Researchers requesting access to Geneva Arthroplasty Registry data may contact AL (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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