The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 35, Issue 1, 127 - 131

The Natural History of Radiolucencies Following Uncemented Total Knee Arthroplasty at 9 Years

Costales, Timothy G. et al.
Knee

Background

Aseptic loosening remains a common cause of failure in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). There is an increased interest in using uncemented TKA to reduce this complication. Radiolucencies (RLs) following uncemented TKA can be concerning. We report on the 9-year history of RLs in patients with uncemented TKA.

Methods

Twenty-one patients (26 knees) were treated with a cruciate-retaining fully porous coated femur/tibia and cemented patella. At final follow-up, 17 patients (22 knees) were available for review. Average follow-up was 9.6 years, average age was 59.1, and average body mass index was 34.1. X-rays were taken at 6 weeks, 1 year, and at final follow-up. RLs were measured using the Knee Society scoring system and read by two separate surgeons.

Results

At 6 weeks, we identified RL in all patients on both the tibia and femur. The majority were beneath the tibial tray and femoral chamfer. At 1 year, 4 femurs and 4 tibias showed new RLs (<2 mm) in similar zones. Eighteen femurs and 18 tibias showed fewer or no change in RLs. At final follow-up, no new tibia or femur developed a new RL. In total, 9 of the 22 tibias and 17 of the 22 femurs had remaining RLs, all less than 2 mm and none were progressive or new. Knee Society Score averaged 92.5 (6 weeks), 95.1 (1 year), and 97.3 (final).

Conclusion

RLs are common following uncemented TKA. Many resolve by 1 year. There does not appear to be any association between the presence of RLs and long-term follow-up function in this group of patients.

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