The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 7 , S249 - S252

Periarticular Soft Tissue Envelope Size and Postoperative Wound Complications Following Total Knee Arthroplasty

Yu, Stephen et al.


Periprosthetic joint infection following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is a serious complication often related to obesity which leads to poor patient outcomes and increased resource utilization. A periarticular soft tissue index (PASTI) may help predict postoperative wound complications than BMI alone.


Three hundred seventy-six TKA patients with a preoperative, lateral knee X-ray radiograph and 1 year of follow up were analyzed. We used 2 pairs of soft tissue and bony measurements, one referencing the femur and the other the tibia. A high PASTI was defined as a ratio >3.0. Minor complications involved clinical interventions related to the surgical wound. Major complications involved return to the operating room.


More minor complications occurred in high PASTI for both tibial (20.9% vs 6.4%; odds ratio 3.89, 95% confidence interval 1.94-7.79, P < .001) and femoral measurements (15.3% vs 7.2%; odds ratio 2.09, 95% confidence interval 1.06-4.15, P = .013). Major complications were also more frequent in high PASTI, though not statistically significant. The proportion of obesity (BMI > 30) in both minor (12.4% vs 7.7%, P = .140) and major complications (2.8% vs 3.3%, P = .788) was not statistically different.


More wound complications occurred in patients with high PASTI, while no difference was seen using BMI. BMI has traditionally approximated patient size, but does not describe variations in body habitus. PASTI is a more reliable and direct way to assess the periarticular soft tissue envelope size, which is associated with postoperative wound complications in the knee.

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