What is the Forgotten Joint Score?

August 20, 2021


What is the Forgotten Joint Score (FJS) and When is it Used?

Created in 2012, the Forgotten Joint Score (FJS) is a patient-reported outcome measure intended to determine a patient’s ability to “forget” about their affected joint after surgery or treatment (H, JM, K, & MS, 2014). As of October 2022, the FJS is available for use on hip, knee, and shoulder replacements. What makes the Forgotten Joint Score different from other total joint PROs is that it focuses on awareness of the joint instead of pain.


The Forgotten Joint Score consists of 12 questions and is scored on a 0-100 scale. The higher the score, the less the patient is aware of their affected joint when performing daily activities (Rosinsky et al., 2019). The minimal important difference for the Forgotten Joint Score is 10.8 points, meaning this is the minimal score improvement that a patient must make in order to represent a meaningful difference in their outcome (Holtz N, Hamilton DF, Giesinger JM, Jost B, Giesinger K.) The creators of FJS are currently working to develop an item bank to allow the Forgotten Joint Score to be used with a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT).


The FJS has been shown to be easier for patients to understand and less time-consuming for them to complete when compared to the Oxford Hip Score (OHS). Additionally, according to the creators of the FJS it can differentiate between both “good” and “bad” outcomes, and can also differentiate between “good”, “very good”, and “excellent” outcomes (Behrend, Giesinger, Giesinger, & Kuster, 2012). Recently, the FJS has been validated against the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). A study has found that the FJS outperformed the WOMAC in regards to detecting a forgotten joint and that the FJS and WOMAC performed equally well at detecting a Patient Acceptable Symptom State (PASS) Wang, Z., Deng, W., Shao, H., Zhou, Y., & Li, H. (2020). Finally, the Forgotten Joint Score has been shown to have less ceiling effects when compared to the Oxford Hip Score.


As with any PRO tool, there are a few considerations when using the Forgotten Joint Score. FJS is better suited for more active patients with good to excellent outcomes and is more focused on post-op outcomes. The Forgotten Joint Score is also less suitable than other PROs to predict the need for a revision procedure due to its floor effect (Larsson et al., 2019). According to a study performed by Hamilton et al. in 2017, 22% of THA patients scored the minimum score of zero when completing the FJS preoperatively, compared to 0% of THA patients scoring zero on the OHS (Hamilton et al., 2017). Finally, another consideration to review is that there is a cost for the license and use of the FJS assessment.

Licensing and Cost

Paid. The FJS measure requires a license to utilize. To learn more about the Forgotten Joint Score, or to obtain a license, please visit their website: www.forgotten-joint-score.info/contact/


Sources | The “Forgotten Joint” as the Ultimate Goal in Joint Arthroplasty | The Forgotten Joint Score | Validation of the English language Forgotten Joint Score-12 as an outcome measure for total hip and knee arthroplasty in a British population | Minimal important differences for the WOMAC osteoarthritis index and the Forgotten Joint Score-12 in total knee arthroplasty patients | Evaluation of Forgotten Joint Score in total hip arthroplasty with Oxford Hip Score as reference standard | Can We Help Patients Forget Their Joint? Determining a Threshold for Successful Outcome for the Forgotten Joint Score | Forgotten Joint Score Thresholds for Forgotten Joint Status and Patient Satisfaction after Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty in Chinese Patients


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