The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 2, 371 - 374

Complication Rates in Total Knee Arthroplasty Performed for Osteoarthritis and Post-Traumatic Arthritis: A Comparison Study

Brockman, Bryan S. et al.


The number of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) procedures performed in the United States has been increasing. Increased complication rates have been demonstrated in patients with post-traumatic arthritis (PTA) undergoing TKA. However, there remains limited data directly comparing outcomes of TKA performed for osteoarthritis (OA) and PTA.


The National Inpatient Sample was utilized to identify patients undergoing elective TKA between 2006 and 2015 for OA and PTA. The prevalence of preoperative comorbidities and the incidence of postoperative complications including superficial wound infection, deep joint infection, acute deep venous thrombosis, and pulmonary embolus were analyzed.


Between 2006 and 2015, the National Inpatient Sample database accounted for 1,301,394 patients diagnosed with either PTA (14,206) or OA (1,287,188) undergoing TKA. The incidence of superficial wound infection, deep joint infection, and acute deep venous thrombosis was found to occur at a higher rate in patients with a diagnosis of PTA compared to OA. The incidence of pulmonary embolus was not found to be statistically different between the 2 groups. Patients with PTA had a higher prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse, psychosis, and liver disease, whereas patients with OA had a higher prevalence of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease.


This study demonstrates an increased risk of complications in patients undergoing TKA for PTA compared to OA. Surgeons can use this information to help aid in counseling patients preoperatively. Furthermore, these data provide objective evidence that could have implications with regards to establishing bundled payment reimbursement in this patient population.

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