Coexisting Lumbar Spondylosis in Patients Undergoing TKA: How Common and How Serious?Chang, Chong, Bum, MD, PhD1,3; Park, Kun, Woo, MD2; Kang, Yeon, Gwi, MS1; Kim, Tae, Kyun, MD, PhD1,3,a
Background Information on the coexistence of lumbar spondylosis and its influence on overall levels of pain and function in patients with advanced knee osteoarthritis (OA) undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) would be valuable for patient consultation and management.
Questions/purposes The purposes of this study were to document the prevalence and severity of coexisting lumbar spondylosis in patients with advanced knee OA undergoing TKA and to determine whether the coexisting lumbar spondylosis at the time of TKA adversely affects clinical scores in affected patients before and 2 years after TKA.
Methods Radiographic lumbar spine degeneration and lumbar spine symptoms including lower back pain, radiating pain at rest, and radiating pain with activity were assessed in 225 patients undergoing TKA. In addition, the WOMAC score and the SF-36 scores were evaluated before and 2 years after TKA. Potential associations of radiographic lumbar spine degeneration and lumbar spine symptom severities with pre- and postoperative WOMAC subscales and SF-36 scores were examined.
Results All 225 patients had radiographic degeneration of the lumbar spine, and the large majority (89% [200 of 225]) had either moderate or severe spondylosis (72% and 17%, respectively). A total of 114 patients (51%) had at least one moderate or severe lumbar spine symptom. No association was found between radiographic severity of lumbar spine degeneration and pre- and postoperative clinical scores. In terms of lumbar spine symptoms, more severe symptoms were likely to adversely affect the preoperative WOMAC and SF-36 physical component summary (PCS) scores, but most of these adverse effects improved by 2 years after TKA with the exception of the association between severe radiating pain during activity and a poorer postoperative SF-36 PCS score (regression coefficient = −5.41, p = 0.015).
Conclusions Radiographic lumbar spine degeneration and lumbar spine symptoms are common among patients with advanced knee OA undergoing TKA. Severe lumbar spine symptoms (visual analog scale score of ≥ 7) were likely to adversely affect the preoperative clinical scores of patients undergoing TKA; however, most of the adverse effects were not found 2 years after TKA. Nevertheless, because preexisting severe radiating pain during activity may be a source of a poorer outcome after TKA, careful patient consultation regarding this potential poorer prognosis after TKA needs to be provided to the patient with this symptom.
Level of Evidence Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.