Open Access Open Badges Research article

Activity levels and participation in physical activities by Korean patients following total knee arthroplasty

Moon Jong Chang1, Sung Hee Kim2, Yeon Gwi Kang2, Chong Bum Chang3 and Tae Kyun Kim24*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, #81, Irwon-Ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-710, Republic of Korea

2 Joint Reconstruction Center, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 166 Gumi-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do 463-707, Republic of Korea

3 Department of Orthopaedic Surger, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Boramae Hospital, 5 Gil 20, Boramae-road, Dongjak-gu, Seoul 156-707, Republic of Korea

4 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2014, 15:240  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-240

Published: 17 July 2014



The objectives of this study were to describe changes in physical activity profiles of Korean patients after TKA and to determine whether the postoperative physical activity level is influenced by patient socio-demographic factors and postoperative functional outcomes. We also sought to determine whether regular postoperative physical activity is associated with greater patient satisfaction after TKA.


This observational study included 369 patients. Physical activity profiles before and after TKA were evaluated using a questionnaire that contained the UCLA activity scale and types of sports activities. The associations of socio-demographic features and postoperative functional outcomes with the physical activity levels were assessed using subgroup comparisons and partial correlation analyses. In addition, the effects of regular physical activity on patient satisfaction with replaced knees were evaluated using subgroup comparisons.


Walking, swimming and bicycling were the three most common sports activities both before and after TKA. After TKA, the mean activity level remained similar (UCLA score = 4.5 before TKA vs. 4.8 after TKA); however, the frequency of moderate activity levels (UCLA scale, 4-6) and moderate types of physical activities increased. Patients with higher postoperative function scores reported higher postoperative activity levels, but socio-demographic factors were not associated with activity level. Regular physical activity was associated with greater patient satisfaction.


This study provides valuable information about realistic expectations for physical activity after TKA. Regular participation in physical activity should be encouraged to improve patient satisfaction.

Total knee arthroplasty; Physical activity; Patient factor; Satisfaction