The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 34, Issue 10, 2473 - 2478

Incidence and Risk Factors for Peripheral Nerve Injury After 383,000 Total Knee Arthroplasties Using a New York State Database (SPARCS)

Christ, Alexander B. et al.


Peripheral nerve injury (PNI) is a devastating complication following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The purpose of this study is to identify risk factors for PNI after TKA using a New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System.


The Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System database was queried to identify patients who had undergone TKA from 1996 to 2014. Patient demographics, medical history, surgical details, hospital characteristics, and in-hospital complications were recorded. Cases in which a new unilateral PNI was identified were compiled, as were control cases. The characteristics of cases and controls underwent univariate testing and a multivariate logistic regression using Akaike information criterion model selection to identify risk factors for the development of PNI after TKA.


In total, 383,060 cases were identified and 0.12%, or 445/383,060, experienced a new PNI. Pre-existing spinal conditions (odds ratio [OR] 1.98, confidence interval [CI] 1.08-3.30) and valgus deformity (OR 4.19, CI 2.46-6.66) were strongly correlated with the development of PNI postoperatively individually, but together increased risk substantially (OR 17.28, CI 2.83-55.35). Younger age (<50 years), in-hospital complications, female gender, and bilateral surgery were all associated with postoperative PNI, as well.


Valgus deformity and previous spine disorder together greatly increased the risk of PNI after TKA. Younger age, female gender, and in-hospital postoperative complications all increased the risk of PNI, as well. This study quantifies the relative risk each of these factors impart in the development of PNI after TKA and can help healthcare providers and systems identify and counsel patients at higher risk of this serious complication.

Download article