The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 36, Issue 3, 1067 - 1073

Outcome of Revision Surgery for the Idiopathic Stiff Total Knee Arthroplasty

Xiong, Liang et al.


Idiopathic stiff total knee arthroplasty (TKA) represents one of the most challenging subsets of the stiff TKA, as the etiology is unknown and there is no consensus on the most appropriate surgical treatment modality. Therefore, the aim of this study is to report on postoperative outcomes of revision surgery for idiopathic stiff TKA.


We retrospectively reviewed 189 consecutive patients (202 knees) who underwent revision TKA for stiffness: (1) 101 knees in the idiopathic stiffness cohort and (2) 88 in the non-idiopathic stiffness cohort. In the idiopathic stiffness cohort, 42 knees underwent isolated tibial insert exchange and 59 knees underwent component revision. Perioperative knee range of movement and complications were analyzed.


The overall revision surgery outcomes of the idiopathic stiffness cohort were worse than those of the non-idiopathic stiffness cohort with regard to maximum flexion (91.7° vs 100.1°, P = .02) and flexion range of motion (ROM) (87.6° vs 97.1°, P = .01). In the idiopathic stiffness cohort, isolated tibial insert exchange demonstrated greater maximum flexion (96.8° vs 88.4°, P = .06) and flexion ROM (93.2° vs 83.9°, P = .07). In terms of re-revision rates, the isolated tibial insert exchange idiopathic stiffness cohort demonstrated lower re-revision rates compared to the component revision idiopathic stiffness cohort (16.7% vs 31.0%, P = .01).


This study demonstrates that the overall revision surgery outcome of idiopathic stiff TKA is worse than non-idiopathic TKA stiffness. In idiopathic stiffness cohorts, isolated tibial insert exchange was associated with lower re-revision rates than component revision, with similar efficacy in improving ROM, suggesting that isolated tibial insert exchange may be a preferred surgical treatment option in TKA patients with idiopathic stiffness.

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