How Much Perioperative Pain and Dysfunction Underlie the HOOS JR and KOOS JR?

Mark E. Cowen*, Huiyong Zheng, Richard E. Hughes, Patricia D. Franklin, Michael A. Masini, Brian R. Hallstrom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BackgroundThe Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score Joint Replacement (HOOS JR) and Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score Joint Replacement (KOOS JR) scores represent pain and dysfunction as a single number ranging from 0 (extreme pain and dysfunction) to 100 (no pain or functional limitations). However, scores between 0 and 100 lack a simple interpretation because they reflect varying combinations of pain levels and dysfunction. Given that most adverse events and improvement occur within the first 90 days after surgery, a deeper understanding of the level of pain and dysfunction may reveal missed opportunities for patient care.Questions/purposes(1) What does a given preoperative or postoperative HOOS JR and KOOS JR score indicate about pain and ability to perform daily activities? (2) How much of a change in score (that is, delta) is needed to indicate significant improvement in pain control and daily functioning?MethodsThe Michigan Arthroplasty Registry Collaborative Quality Initiative contains more than 95% of THAs and TKAs performed in Michigan. Between January 2017 and March 2019, 84,175 people in the registry underwent primary THA or TKA and were potentially eligible for this retrospective, comparative study of the first 90 postoperative days. Eighty-four percent (70,608 of 84,175) were excluded because their surgeons did not attain a target survey collection proportion of 70% and another 6% (5042) were missing covariate information or surveys, leaving 10% (8525) for analysis. The mean age and percentage of women were 65 ± 11 years and 55% (2060 of 3716), respectively, for patients undergoing THA and 67 ± 9 years and 61% (2936 of 4809), respectively, for those undergoing TKA. There were no clinically meaningful differences between patients who were analyzed and those who were excluded except for lower representation of non-White patients in the analyzed group. For interpretation, patient responses to Question 7 (pain) and Question 6 (function) from the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System global items (PROMIS-10) were dichotomized into "much pain"(rating of pain 4 to 10 of 10) versus "less pain"(rating of ≤ 3) and "good function"(able to perform most activities) versus "poor function"(not able to perform most activities) and combined into four pain-function categories. We examined the mean preoperative and postoperative HOOS JR and KOOS JR scores for each pain-function category, adjusted for patient characteristics. We calculated the size of the delta associated with an increase to a more favorable category postoperatively (versus staying in the same or worse category) via multivariable logistic regression that controlled for patient characteristics.ResultsPatients in the least favorable "much pain, poor function"category preoperatively had adjusted mean scores of 40 (95% confidence interval 39 to 41) for both the HOOS JR and KOOS JR. Those with mixed levels of pain and function had mean scores between 46 and 55. Those in the most favorable "less pain, good function"category had means of 60 (95% CI 58 to 62) and 59 (95% CI 58 to 61) for the HOOS JR and KOOS JR, respectively. The adjusted delta to achieve a pain level of ≤ 3 or the ability to perform most activities was 30 (95% CI 26 to 36) on the HOOS JR and 27 (95% CI 22 to 29) on the KOOS JR scales.ConclusionThese adjusted means of the HOOS JR and KOOS JR provide context for understanding the levels of pain and dysfunction for individuals as well for patients reported in other studies. Potential quality improvement efforts could include tracking the proportion of patients with THA or TKA who achieved a sufficient delta to attain pain levels of ≤ 3 or the ability to perform most activities. Future studies are needed to understand pain and function represented by the HOOS JR and KOOS JR at 1 to 2 years, how these may differ by patient subgroups, and whether scores can be improved through quality improvement efforts.Level of EvidenceLevel III, therapeutic study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1800-1810
Number of pages11
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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