The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 12, 2918 - 2924

Higher Rate of Early Revision Following Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty in Patients Under Age 55: A Cautionary Tale

Charette, Ryan S. et al.


There has been an increased number of total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) performed in young and active patients. Although improved materials have decreased the likelihood of early catastrophic wear, concerns remain with the performance and survivorship of TKA implants in this patient population. The purpose this study is to evaluate perioperative complications, patient-reported outcomes, and implant survivorship of TKAs performed in patients under age 55.


We retrospectively reviewed 4259 primary TKAs performed over a 4-year period. There were 741 TKAs in patients under age 55. The primary outcome of interest was rate of revision at 30 days, 1, 2, and 5-year time points. Secondary outcomes included postoperative transfusion rate, length of stay, rate of deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism, need for manipulation under anesthesia, readmission and reoperation within 30 days, as well as patient-reported outcomes.


There were 3518 patients over 55 years and 741 patients under 55 years. Overall, 175 patients required revision (4.1%). Patients under 55 years had significantly higher cumulative revision rate at 1 (3.4% vs 1.8%, P < .001), 2 (5.0% vs 2.4%, P < .001), and 5 years (7.3% vs 3.7%, P < .001). Patients under 55 years had a higher rate of early reoperation. Patients over 55 years required more transfusions and suffered a higher rate of early deep vein thrombosis. Patients over 55 years had significantly greater improvements in Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System Global 10 Physical scores at 6 months postoperatively compared to patients under 55 years.


Despite improvements in TKA implants, young and active patients remained at higher risk of early revision compared to older patients. The data should be used to counsel young prospective TKA patients about the early risk of reoperation and non–wear-related complications.

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