The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 1, 100 - 104

Prior Knee Arthroscopy Is Associated With Increased Risk of Revision After Total Knee Arthroplasty

Gu, Alex et al.


Knee arthroscopy (KA) is frequently performed to provide improved joint function and pain relief. However, outcomes following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) after prior KA are not fully understood. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between prior KA within 2 years of TKA on revision rates after TKA.


Data were collected from the Humana insurance database using the PearlDiver Patient Records Database from 2006 to 2017. Subjects were identified using Current Procedural Terminology and International Classification of Diseases procedure codes to identify primary TKA. Patients were stratified into 2 groups based upon a history of prior KA. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine association between KA and outcomes at 2-year postoperative period.


In total, 138,019 patients were included in this study, with 3357 (2.4%) patients receiving a KA before TKA and 134,662 (97.6%) patients who did not. The most common reason for KA was osteoarthritis (40.0%), followed by medial tear of the meniscus (26.0%) and chondromalacia (21%.0). After adjustment, prior KA was associated with increased revision rate (odds ratio [OR], 1.392; P = .003), postoperative stiffness (OR, 1.251; P = .012), periprosthetic joint infection (OR, 1.326; P < .001), and aseptic loosening (OR, 1.401; P = .048).


Prior KA is significantly associated with increased 2-year TKA revision rate. The most common etiology for arthroscopy was osteoarthritis. The results of the study, showing that arthroscopy before TKA substantially increases the rates of revision, PJI, aseptic loosening, and stiffness, lend further credence to the idea that patients may be better served by nonsurgical management of their degenerative pathology until they become candidates for TKA. Subjecting this population to arthroscopy appears to offer limited benefit at the cost of poorer outcomes when they require arthroplasty in the future.

Level of Evidence

Level III therapeutic study.

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