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Sports activities 5 years after total knee or hip arthroplasty: the Ulm Osteoarthritis Study
  1. K Huch1,
  2. K A C Müller1,
  3. T Stürmer2,
  4. H Brenner3,
  5. W Puhl1,
  6. K-P Günther4
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedics, University of Ulm, Oberer Eselsberg 45, 89081 Ulm, Germany
  2. 2Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 1620 Tremont Street, Suite 3030, Boston, MA 02120, USA
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology, German Centre for Research in Aging (DZFA), Bergheimer Str 20, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
  4. 4Department of Orthopaedics, University of Dresden, Fetscherstr 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr K Huch
    Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Ulm, Oberer Eselsberg 45, 89081 Ulm, Germany;


Objective: To analyse sports activities of patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) over lifetime, preoperatively, and 5 years after arthroplasty.

Methods: In a longitudinal four centre study, 809 consecutive patients with advanced OA of the hip (420) or the knee (389) joint under the age of 76 years who required total joint replacement were recruited. A completed questionnaire about sports activities at 5 year follow up was received from 636 (79%) of the 809 patients.

Results: Although most patients with hip (97%) and knee (94%) OA had performed sports activities during their life, only 36% (hip patients) and 42% (knee patients) had maintained sports activities at the time of surgery. Five years postoperatively, the proportion of patients performing sports activities increased to 52% among patients with hip OA, but further declined to 34% among those with knee OA. Accordingly, the proportion of patients with hip OA performing sports activities for more than 2 hours a week increased from 8 to 14%, whereas this proportion decreased from 12 to 5% among patients with knee OA. Pain in the replaced joint was reported by 9% of patients with hip and by >16% with knee OA.

Conclusion: Differences in pain 5 years after joint replacement may explain some of the difference of sports activities between patients with hip and knee OA. Reasons for reduction of sports activities may include the increasing age of the patients, their worries about an “artificial joint”, and the advice of their surgeon to be cautious.

  • sport
  • arthroplasty
  • OA
  • total hip replacement
  • total knee replacement

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