According to statistics, 20% of people after total knee replacement surgery have ongoing discomfort and pain. This study aimed to understand what role the concepts of incorporation (integrating something into one’s body) and embodiment (of both having a body and experiencing the world through one’s body) might understand experiences of discomfort and pain after total knee replacement.
Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 34 people who had chronic post‐surgical pain (age 55‐93 years, n=34) and received total knee replacement at either of two National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in the United Kingdom. When describing chronic post‐surgical pain, some participants also described sensations of discomfort including tightness, heaviness, numbness, and pressure associated with the prosthesis. Participants’ experiences indicate that some people do not achieve the full incorporation of the prosthesis.
In conclusion, this study emphasizes the importance of physicians treating patients as whole people and moving beyond clinical and procedural success ideas. To optimize postoperative outcomes, the findings suggest that rehabilitation must focus not only on strengthening the joint and promoting full recovery to tasks but also on managing otherness sensations by modifying a person’s relationship to the new joint for achieving full incorporation of the joint or re‐embodiment.
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