Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: June 2017 - Volume 475 - Issue 6 - p 1618–1626 doi: 10.1007/s11999-017-5230-z Clinical Research

Increased Risk of Revision, Reoperation, and Implant Constraint in TKA After Multiligament Knee Surgery

Pancio, Steven, I., MD1; Sousa, Paul, L., MD1; Krych, Aaron, J., MD1; Abdel, Matthew, P., MD1; Levy, Bruce, A., MD1; Dahm, Diane, L., MD1; Stuart, Michael, J., MD1,a

Background The risk of major complications and revision arthroplasty after TKA in patients who previously underwent multiligament knee surgery have been poorly characterized.


Questions/purposes Is multiligament knee surgery before TKA associated with (1) worse implant survival, (2) increased use of TKA design constraint, (3) a greater risk for major complications, and (4) poorer scores for pain and function compared with similar patients receiving TKA for primary osteoarthritis?


Methods Fifty-nine TKAs were performed at our institution between 1985 and 2014 in 59 patients (36 men, 23 women; mean age, 53 years) with a history of previous multiligament knee surgery (≥ two ligaments). Of those, we had followup for 39 (66%), 18 (31%), and six (10%) patients at 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively; mean followup was 5.4 years (range, 1-25 years). A two-to-one matched control group consisting of patients undergoing primary TKA for the diagnosis of osteoarthritis was selected for comparison. Patients were matched based on gender, age at primary TKA (within 5 years), and date of the TKA (within 5 years). Medical records were reviewed for survivorship, TKA design, complications (reoperation, revision, infection, manipulation under anesthesia, and periprosthetic joint infection), TKA design, and clinical outcomes (Knee Society Scores [KSS], Knee Society Function Score [KSS-F]).


Results The overall 15-year revision-free survival in patients with prior multiligament knee surgery was decreased in comparison to the matched controls (42% [95% CI, 16%-73%] vs 94% [95% CI, 81%-99%]; p < 0.001). Varus-valgus constraint implant design was used for more patients in the multiligament cohort at index TKA than in the matched control group (9/59 [15%] vs 0/110 [0%], respectively; odds ratio [OR], 45; 95% CI, 3-781; p = 0.009). Patients with a history of multiligament knee surgery also were at increased risk of reoperation for any cause (14/59 [24%] vs 7/118 [6%]; OR, 5; 95% CI, 2-14; p = 0.001). With the numbers available, there was no difference in the frequency of manipulation under anesthesia after TKA (10% [6/59] versus 3% [4/118]; p = 0.08) A higher proportion of patients in the multiligament cohort had infections develop compared with the matched controls (4/59 [7%] vs 1/118 [< 1%)], respectively; p = 0.04). There was no difference in the KSS improvement after TKA between the multiligament group and the control group (34 ± 18 vs 28 ± 15; p = 0.088). The final KSS and KSS-F scores likewise showed no difference between those groups (88 ± 13 vs 85 ± 10; p = 0.232) (85 ± 17 vs 84 ± 14; p = 0.75).


Conclusions A history of multiligament surgery is associated with lower long-term survivorship, higher use of constrained TKA designs, and higher risk of major complications, including reoperation and infection. Further research is necessary to determine if a particular multiligamentous surgical technique can prevent posttraumatic arthritis and TKA complications.


Level of Evidence Level III, therapeutic study.

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