Nanna Rolving, Kirstine H. Obling, Finn B. Christensen, Kirsten Fonager

April 2013, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 802 - 808 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-012-2535-1

First Online: 18 October 2012


Lumbar decompression surgery (LDS) and total hip arthroplasty (THA) are frequently performed in the elderly population, but very little is known about their subsequent physical capacity and participation in leisure activities. Despite similar demographics and comorbidities, it is questionable whether LDS patients achieve equally high levels of physical capacity and quality of life postoperatively as do THA patients. The aim was to compare the physical activity level, participation in leisure activities and related quality of life 1 year after an LDS and THA procedure.


Data from 95 THA patients and 83 LDS patients were gathered from questionnaires on self-reported physical activity level, leisure activities and quality of life.


LDS and THA patients reported equally moderate levels of physical activity. The median score was 42.3 METs/day (IQR 37.9; 47.7) for the LDS group and 41.0 METs/day (IQR 38.5; 48.5) for the THA group (p = 0.79). Weekly time consumption for leisure activities in the LDS group was a median of 420 min/week (IQR 210; 660) compared to a median of 480 min/week (IQR 240; 870) in the THA group (p = 0.16). Regarding quality of life, LDS patients reported significantly worse Euroqol Five Dimensions scores with a median value of 0.740 (IQR 0.68; 0.82) compared to THA patients’ median of 0.824 (IQR 0.72; 1.0), p < 0.001.


Despite being equally physically active and engaged in leisure activities, LDS patients did not achieve a quality of life comparable to that of THA patients 1 year postoperatively.

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