The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 1, 116 - 120

Higher Activity Level Following Total Knee Arthroplasty Is Not Deleterious to Mid-Term Implant Survivorship

Crawford, David A. et al.
Knee

Background

The impact of a patient’s activity level following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) remains controversial, with some surgeons concerned about increased polyethylene wear, aseptic loosening, and revisions. The purpose of this study is to report on implant survivorship and outcomes of high activity patients compared to low activity patients after TKA.

Methods

A retrospective review identified 1611 patients (2038 knees) that underwent TKA with 5-year minimum follow-up. Patients were divided in 2 groups based on their University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) activity level: low activity (LA) (UCLA ≤5) and high activity (HA) (UCLA ≥6). Outcomes included range of motion, Knee Society scores, complications, and reoperations. Parametric survival analysis was performed to evaluate the significance of activity level on survivorship while controlling for age, gender, preoperative pain, Knee Society clinical scores, Knee Society functional scores, and body mass index (BMI).

Results

Mean follow-up was 11.4 years (range 5.1-15.9). The LA group had significantly more female patients, were older, had higher BMI, and had lower functional scores preoperatively (all with P < .001). The HA group had significantly higher improvements in Knee Society scores (P < .001) and pain postoperatively (P < .001). Revisions were performed in 4% of the LA group and 1.7% knees of the HA group (P = .003). After controlling for age, gender, preoperative pain, Knee Society clinical scores, Knee Society functional scores, and BMI, a higher postoperative activity level remained a significant factor for improved survivorship with an odds ratio of 2.4 (95% confidence interval 1.2-4.7, P = .011). The all-cause 12-year survivorship was 98% for the HA group and 95.3% for the LA group (P = .003). The aseptic 12-year survivorship was 98.4% for the HA group and 96.3% for the LA group (P = .02).

Conclusion

Highly active patients had increased survivorship at 5-year minimum follow-up compared to lower activity patients after TKA. Patient activity level after TKA may not need to be limited with modern implants.

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