Sunday, January 17, 2010
Fibromyalgia Syndrome: Outcome Following Total Knee Replacement Not As Good As Most Other Patient Groups
According to Wikipedia, fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure. Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other core symptoms include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness.
A Mayo Clinic study of 141 Total Knee Replacements done in patients with Fibromyalgia Syndrome concluded that nearly half of the patients reported continued knee pain after replacement surgery (much higher than most other patient groups) and more patients in the study had trouble regaining knee motion. Total Knee Replacement surgery did provide improvements in pain compared to preop levels.
The conclusion is that there is a high prevalance of continued pain and stiffness in Fibromyalgia patients undergoing Total Knee Replacement surgery. The Orthopedic Surgeon should counsel these patients pre-operatively so this sub group of people can make an informed choice as to whether to have this surgery and to align expectations with reality.