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International Journal of Rheumatology
Volume 2013, Article ID 506518, 8 pages
Review Article

The Utility of Outcome Measures in Total Knee Replacement Surgery

The University of Melbourne, Department of Surgery, Saint Vincent's Hospital, 41 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Melbourne, VIC 3065, Australia

Received 9 June 2013; Accepted 15 September 2013

Academic Editor: Lilian Ghandour

Copyright © 2013 Michelle M. Dowsey and Peter F. M. Choong. 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.


Total knee replacement (TKR) is the mainstay of treatment for people with end-stage knee OA among suitably “fit” candidates. As a high cost, high volume procedure with a worldwide demand that continues to grow it has become increasingly popular to measure response to surgery. While the majority who undergo TKR report improvements in pain and function following surgery, a significant proportion of patients report dissatisfaction with surgery as a result of ongoing pain or poor function. Poor outcomes of TKR require care that imposes on already overburdened health systems. Accurate and meaningful capture and interpretation of outcome data are imperative for appropriate patient selection, informing those at risk, and for developing strategies to mitigate the risk of poor results and dissatisfaction. The ways in which TKR outcomes are captured and analysed, the level of follow-up, the types of outcome measures used, and the timing of their application vary considerably within the literature. With this in mind, we reviewed four of the most commonly used joint specific outcome measures in TKR. We report on the utility, strengths, and limitations of the Oxford knee score (OKS), knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index (WOMAC), and knee society clinical rating system (KSS).