Persistent post-surgical pain after total knee arthroplasty at a tertiary care hospital of a low-middle income country

Document Type





Background: Persistent post-surgical pain (PPSP) is pain that lasts for 3 months or more after a surgical intervention, where other causes of pain have been excluded. There is scarce knowledge about the prevalence of PPSP in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of PPSP after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) at our university hospital and explore factors associated with it.
Methods: It was a prospective cross-sectional study. Approval was obtained from the Ethics Review Committee. Patients undergoing elective unilateral total knee arthroplasty under general or regional anaesthesia were recruited over a six months period. A designated pain nurse called the patients three months after surgery and asked about the presence of pain, its location, type, degree and associated factors. Patients who reported pain at three months were called a year after the surgery and the same questions were asked.
Results: Eighty-two patients had TKA during the study period. At the time of discharge, 57 (69.5%) patients were satisfied with their postoperative pain management. Three months after the surgery, 13 (15.8%) patients reported pain. Pain was mild in 11 and moderate in two patients. At one-year follow-up, three patients (3.6%) reported pain that was mild to moderate in intensity. Pain disturbed sleep in all three patients and disturbed daily life routines in one patient. No significant difference was found in any of the variables when compared with patients who did not report pain at three months.
Conclusions: Although PPSP is a recognized adverse outcome after TKA, little is known about its prevalence in LMICs. In our patient population, 15.8% reported pain three months after TKA, while at one year, 3.6% of patients reported mild to moderate pain. Multicenter studies are recommended for determining the overall prevalence in our patient population and for getting directions for making targeted efforts towards its prevention and treatment.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Open Journal of Anesthesiology