Developed by medical scientists at the University of Oxford in the late 1990s, the OKS has become a globally renowned exemplar of patient-centred outcome reporting, transforming orthopaedic care along the way.

The simple, yet comprehensive, 12-item OKS questionnaire asks knee replacement patients to rate, on a five-point scale, their levels of functionality and pain following surgery. Score under 20 and it may be an indication of severe arthritis; score 40 or more and things are looking good.

The societal and economic impacts of the OKS are substantial: by enabling more effective treatment strategies and facilitating the assessment of health interventions, it has not only improved patient quality of life but enabled the optimisation of healthcare resources and the identification of high-performing providers.

“The OKS has gone on to become a globally renowned exemplar of patient-centred outcome reporting, transforming orthopaedic care along the way.”

Although originally developed to evaluate total knee replacement, the OKS has broadened its scope for use in other joint disorders and treatments (for example, the Oxford Hip Score). It has enhanced patient-doctor communication, reduced the influence of bias, and improved both the management of joint conditions and the evaluation of treatment outcomes.

Today, the OKS is widely used in clinical practice and research globally, thanks to being made available for licence and translation by Oxford University Innovation. It has become a standard tool for assessing the effectiveness of various knee treatments, including surgery, rehabilitation, and medication.

The Oxford Knee Score stands as testament to the profound impact of Oxford University’s patient-centric innovation activities – over not just years, but decades.