The outcome in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) depends on multiples factors, among them is the psychological condition. In addition, up 15 to 30% of the patients that undergo TKA show little or no improvement after surgery, which implies the diagnosis of a painful TKA is a challenge for the orthopedic surgeon, who must rule out a possible metal allergy (MA). It is considered an exclusion diagnosis. Due to the complex relationship between psychological condition and MA, and according to the worse results in patients treated with a hypoallergenic TKA, we asked: (1). What degree of psychological distress (PD) is present in patients who have a hypoallergenic TKA, and how does it influence the results of quality of life (QoL) and functional capacity. (2). Can we develop a new algorithm for patients with a possible MA that improves the outcomes? A pragmatic clinical study was carried out that included patients who underwent hypoallergenic TKA during three consecutive years. Quality of life and functional capacity were measured with (Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index) WOMAC index, the Short Form 12 questionnaire (SF-12) questionnaire, and the The EQ-5D-5L questionnaire essentially consists of two pages: the EQ-5D descriptive system and the EQ visual analogue scale (EQ VAS) (Euro-QoL-5D L-VAS (EQ5D)), in all patients. To assess PD, a Psychological Distress Score was developed. SPSS software was performed to statistical analysis, and Student´s test for independent variables with a p
< 0.005 as statistically significant. A total of 72 anallergic TKAs in 64 patients were treated during this period; 31.3% of these patients showed features of PD before the surgery. According with the severity of the PD, 60% were classified as severe, 10% as moderate and 30% as mild. Patients with PD had statistically significant worse results on the final WOMAC, SF-12, and EQ5D questionnaires. The final scores of the physical subscale of the SF-12 and EQ5D showed better results in patients diagnosed by psychiatrist. Up to one third of the patients with hypoallergenic TKAs have PD, and their results are clearly inferior to those patients with MA without PD. When PD was diagnosed according with Psychological Distress Score, patients should be carefully assessed in order to determine if a specialist referral is recommended. According with our results, PD should be assessed either by the PCP or by us. If the PD is confirmed, a psychiatry referral is then requested for better preoperative management and treatment. We believe that this approach would lead to better TKA outcomes.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited