health

Knee replacement doesn't solve sexual problems

19 Comments

Patients having knee replacement surgery sometimes hope to regain or improve their sexual activity afterward, but that doesn't always happen, a new study finds.

A year after surgery, about 40% of patients said their expectations of sexual activity weren't met, researchers report in Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research.

"Patients generally have high expectations towards the results of a prosthesis and expect to remain active despite their age, which also includes sexual activity," said study leader Rita Harmsen of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

"Sexual activity is important to quality of life for men and women alike, however, sexual issues are not easily discussed -- not in daily life, not in the consultation room, not by specialists, not by patients," she said. "After surgery, effective instructions (about how to safely resume) are missing, and surgeons are not aware of hidden questions."

Harmsen and colleagues analyzed data for more than 800 patients scheduled for total knee replacement in 2012-2015 at seven hospitals in The Netherlands. Patients ranked their preoperative expectations and postoperative fulfillment on a 5-point scale.

Before the knee replacement surgery, about half of patients expected better sexual activity after recovery. Men were more likely to have expectations for postoperative sexual activity, particularly men under age 60. About 46% of men expected "back to normal" sexual activity, compared with 32% of women. For both genders, anticipation decreased with age.

Overall, about 58% reported fulfillment of their expectations after surgery, which was nearly equal for men and women. Fulfilment was slightly lower in higher age groups for both genders. Women under age 65 experienced fulfillment more often than men of the same age.

Importantly, those in better health before surgery were more likely to report better sexual activity after surgery. And patients who experienced greater health improvements after surgery reported fulfilled or exceeded sexual expectations as well.

"At the same time, about 40%, or two out of five patients, experienced unfilled expectations," Harmsen said. "These results can be very disappointing."

A limitation of the study is that preoperative expectations and postoperative fulfillment were each measured with just one survey question, the study authors wrote. Future studies should interview patients and their partners to understand what the expectations were and why they're unfulfilled after surgery, Harmsen said. Difficulties may be related to age, insufficient rehabilitation, or the mobility of the knee after surgery, which can limit certain sexual positions. Patients may need education about comfortable and safe sexual positions after knee replacement, she added.

"As surgeons, we do not address this aspect often enough, and it's important to set realistic expectations after surgery," said Dr Antonia Chen of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Chen, who wasn't involved with this study, is the director of research for arthroplasty services.

In addition, longer studies may show whether it takes more than a year after surgery for patients to return to normal sexual activity levels or meet their expectations, she said.

"Patients who undergo total knee replacements have overall improved physical function after surgery," she said. "However, it is worthwhile to have a discussion prior to surgery with your surgeon about sexual activity expectations so that you can better understand the likelihood of having your expectations met or potentially tempering expectations after surgery."

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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Just yesterday I was thinking that knee replacement would be just the thing to spice up the bedroom.

Guess I was wrong.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

News flash: knees are not sex organs.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I got new knees baby. From now on you are going to see a demon in the bedroom!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Knee function and sex? Took me a few moments to make the connection. I had to journey back in time a bit.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

You've got to be kidding me. So, a person with low sex drive thinks: what can I do? Oh, I know, I'll have a knee replacement. Ludicrous

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So, a person with low sex drive thinks: what can I do? Oh, I know, I'll have a knee replacement. Ludicrous

Yeah, because that happened ever in real life.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yeah, because that happened ever in real life.

“That” being someone thinking that a knee replacement would be a cure for low sex drive.

Show me one person ever who thought that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I reckon doggy style is more popular than I thought. My friend's wife had a bad hip from her 30's. Ghosh bress him for being patient and abstinent.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm not keen on a partner who's too kneedy in the bedroom...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Is it April 1st already?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

News flash: knees are not sex organs.

I guess you have never seen a Japanese girl's knees.

Seriously though,

Newsflash: Without functioning knees, there ain't gonna be much humpin'.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wondered why my old girl got two new knees and two new hips. What you can do with all that new hardwear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The headline seems incongruous. But a guy with bad knees is pretty much confined to woman on top, or perhaps to a standing position where he moves the woman with his arms or gets assistance by seating her on a tabletop or counter of just the right height. The whole house would have to be redesigned.

I should take better care of my knees.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So American footballers are done for then.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

knees are not sex organs.

Except for Rohmer's fans ( le genou de Claire). Well, that's a 1970 movie, so they are starting to age...

normal" sexual activity, 

Which means ?

Show me one person ever who thought that.

They think it secretely and only share on the dark web... I can't show you one dude that thinks the Chinese pharmacy's snake oils can make him perform like a horse, you never see them shopping... but the sales are good.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Previous acrobatic sexual positions are unobtainable with bad knees. You folks who don’t understand this ....well, mundane lives, I suppose.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“That” being someone thinking that a knee replacement would be a cure for low sex drive.

Show me one person ever who thought that.

It may not be intuitive but having a part of your body that produce extreme pain with every kind of movement tends to spoil all kinds of physical activity, be it walking, dancing or sex.

I mean, if one of the reasons of not wanting to have sex is because it has become really painful so it inevitably kills the mood, it is reasonable to expect that eliminating that pain would also improve sex, it is there in the article that around half of the people thought so.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I mean, if one of the reasons of not wanting to have sex is because it has become really painful so it inevitably kills the mood, it is reasonable to expect that eliminating that pain would also improve sex

I agree with you. But I don't think anyone thought that the comment made was that the lack of a sex drive was the direct impetus to get a knee replacement. If someone has a bad knee, which stops them from having sex, they're going to know the knee what is leading to their decreased sex drive, they're not going to be in a state of having a low sex drive, and suddenly deciding that a knee replacement is going to be the direct solution.

What you are speaking of is the point behind the story. What the other person was speaking of was... worthy of being pointed out as I did.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are other options which can delay a TKR which allow dexterity to be maintained...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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