The April issue of Jarthoplasty includes the story, Workers’ Compensation Patients After Total Joint Arthroplasty: Do They Return to Work? The results of the study indicates that receipt of workers’ compensation may impact recovery. The results of the study were:
Clinicians identify patients receiving Workers’ Compensation (WC) as unlikely to fully benefit from total joint arthroplasty (TJA), with possibly decreased ability to return to work. We completed follow-up for 164 patients undergoing 177 arthroplasties while receiving WC between 2000 and 2009. Inquiry was made regarding work status, nature of work, and return to work time frame. Patients undergoing primary versus revision TJA returned to work 70.2% versus 43.9%, respectively (p=0.002). The mean time frame for return to work following primary TJA was 16.4weeks. Manual laborers versus sedentary workers returned to work 67.1% versus 84.8%, respectively (p=0.05). As this group is limited by the strenuous nature of their employment, clinicians should be aware that receiving WC may modestly impact return to work following arthroplasty.