BACKGROUND: The length of stay in hospital following total knee replacement is markedly shortened due to fast-track programmes. Patients have to be responsible for their recovery at a very early stage. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of physical health problems and the level of exercising in the early recovery period after discharge from hospital following total knee replacement. METHOD: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a questionnaire. A total of 86 patients were included following first-time elective total knee replacement. Descriptive statistics were used. RESULTS: The majority of the patients experienced leg oedema (90.7%). Secondary to this were pain (81.4%), sleeping disorders (47.7%) problems with appetite (38.4%) and bowel function (34.9%) were the most frequently identified physical health problems. In total, 69.8% of the patients indicated that they did not exercise or only partly exercise as recommended, but without associated experience of pain. CONCLUSION: Patients experienced a wide range of physical health problems following total knee replacement and deviation from recommended self-training was identified. These findings are valuable for health professionals in regard to improve treatment as well as patient education and information.
International Journal of Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing, 2015, Vol 19, Issue 1, p. 36-44