Influence of the Emotional Response to Surgery on Functional Recovery During 6 Months After Hip Arthroplasty

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We examined whether the emotional response to hip arthroplasty predicted functional recovery after controlling for preoperative function and surgical trauma. Mood and fatigue were measured in 102 consecutive patients preoperatively and 3 days postoperatively. Time of achievement of functional milestones indicated recovery in hospital, and functional status was measured preoperatively and 1 and 6 months postoperatively. Circulating C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 levels indicated trauma. Recovery in hospital was slower in patients with greater trauma. Recovery at follow-up was slower in patients with poorer preoperative function and with greater anxiety and fatigue, but the apparent influence of anxiety was explained by its association with preoperative function and fatigue. Whereas short-term recovery is predicted by surgical trauma, long-term recovery is predicted by preexisting function and the emotional response to surgery. However, the influence of the emotional response is small and the important aspect of emotion is fatigue rather than anxiety.

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