The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 11 , 3460 - 3464

Trends in the Use of High-Viscosity Cement in Patients Undergoing Primary Total Knee Arthroplasty in the United States

Kelly, Mick P. et al.


Aseptic loosening remains the most common mode of failure following total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Although the risk of loosening is multifactorial, recent studies reported early failure via debonding at the tibial implant-cement interface and a potential association with high viscosity cement (HVC). The purpose of this study is to determine the type of cement used by surgeons performing elective, primary TKA in the United States.


A retrospective cohort study was performed using data reported to the American Joint Replacement Registry from 2012 to 2017. The primary variable assessed was the type of cement used in each primary TKA, categorized as HVC, medium viscosity cement, or low viscosity cement based on the manufacturer’s specifications. The use of antibiotic-impregnated cement was also assessed.


A total of 554,935 primary TKA procedures were reviewed over the 7-year period. The use of HVC steadily increased from 46.0% of TKAs in 2012 to 61.3% of TKAs in 2017. Conversely, the use of low viscosity cement decreased in use from 47.9% of TKAs in 2012 to 30.9% in 2017. The percentage of TKAs performed using antibiotic-impregnated cement also decreased from 44.2% in 2012 to 34.5% in 2017.


This study demonstrates that the percentage of TKAs performed using HVC has continued to increase over the most recent 7 years for which the American Joint Replacement Registry has data. The risk of aseptic loosening is clearly multifactorial, but close monitoring is necessary to determine whether this change in surgeon preference will affect component survivorship.

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