The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 9, 2004 - 2007

Popliteal Artery Pseudoaneurysm After Total Knee Arthroplasty

Ammori, Mohannad B. et al.


Popliteal artery pseudoaneurysm is a rare complication after total knee arthroplasty. Early recognition is imperative in its management to prevent the subsequent development of compartment syndrome and soft tissue ischemia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the complication rate, recognition, and management of symptomatic popliteal artery pseudoaneurysm after total knee arthroplasty.


Between January 2004 and October 2014, 7937 consecutive total knee arthroplasties were identified from the Theatre Management (Ormis) System and cross-referenced against 1304 radiology reports containing the key words “popliteal” and “aneurysm’ identified from the Patient Archiving Communication System.


Seven patients (0.088%) were found to have had a symptomatic popliteal artery pseudoaneurysm. The median (range) interval between total knee arthroplasty and the radiological diagnosis of a pseudoaneurysm was 15 (7-27) days. Popliteal artery pseudoaneurysm was diagnosed on duplex imaging (n = 4), arteriogram (n = 2), and computed tomography angiogram (n = 1). Fasciotomies were undertaken in 3 patients.


The complication rate of popliteal artery pseudoaneurysm was comparable to the literature. Recognition was identified as a problem. An appreciation of the mechanisms of injury and an awareness of this potential complication among orthopedic surgeons are imperative in reducing the complication rate and interval to diagnosis. Popliteal artery pseudoaneurysm should be included in the differential diagnosis for patients with a clinical presentation of postoperative compartment syndrome or deep vein thrombosis, and examination of the popliteal pulse should be undertaken early.

Download article