Acta Orthopaedica, 85:1, 71-78, DOI: 10.3109/17453674.2013.878829

Can total knee arthroplasty be safely performed in patients with chronic renal disease?

Alexander Miric, Maria CS Inacio & Robert S Namba

Background and purpose — The prevalence of chronic renal disease (CRD) is rising worldwide. Patients with CRD are more likely to have associated medical problems and are at greater risk of postoperative morbidity and mortality. We evaluated patient characteristics and risk of early revision, surgical site infection (SSI), thromboembolic events, mortality, and re-admission of patients with CRD undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA). We hypothesized that this patient population would have higher rates of complications.

Patients and methods — We conducted a retrospective analysis of data that had been prospectively collected by a Total Joint Replacement Registry. All primary TKAs performed from 2005 through 2010 were included. 41,852 primary TKA cases were evaluated, of which 2,686 (6.4%) TKA procedures had been performed in CRD patients. Patient characteristics, comorbidities, and general health status were evaluated. Cox proportional hazard regressions and logistic regressions were used to evaluate the association of CRD with outcomes while adjusting for confounding variables.

Results — The mean age of the CRD cohort was 67 years and approximately two-thirds of the patients were female. The median follow-up time was 2.1 years. Compared to TKA patients without CRD the CRD patients were older, had poorer general health, and had a higher prevalence of comorbidities. They had a higher incidence of deep SSI (0.9% vs. 0.7%), superficial SSI (0.5% vs. 0.3%), deep vein thrombosis (0.6% vs. 0.4%), any-time mortality (4.7% vs. 2.4%), 90-day mortality (0.4% vs. 0.2%), and 90-day re-admission (10% vs. 6.0%) than patients without CRD. However, after adjustment for confounding variables, CRD patients were at 1.9 times (95% CI: 1.1–3.5) increased risk of superficial SSI, 1.3 times (CI: 1.1–1.6) increased risk of re-admission within 90 days, and 1.5 times (CI: 1.2–1.8) increased risk of mortality at any point after the procedure. The risks of all other complications were not statistically significantly different in patients with CRD compared to patients without CRD.

Conclusions — CRD patients undergoing TKA have more comorbidities and a higher risk for superficial SSI, 90-day re-admission, and any-time mortality.

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