Short-term surgical complications following fast-track medial unicompartmental knee arthroplasty

Christian Bredgaard Jensen*, Kirill Gromov, Pelle B Petersen, Christoffer C Jørgensen, Henrik Kehlet, Anders Troelsen

*Corresponding author for this work


AIMS: Medial unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (mUKA) is an advised treatment for anteromedial knee osteoarthritis. While long-term survival after mUKA is well described, reported incidences of short-term surgical complications vary and the effect of surgical usage on complications is less established. We aimed to describe the overall occurrence and treatment of surgical complications within 90 days of mUKA, as well as occurrence in high-usage centres compared to low-usage centres.

METHODS: mUKAs performed in eight fast-track centres from February 2010 to June 2018 were included from the Lundbeck Foundation Centre for Fast-track Hip and Knee Replacement Database. All readmissions within 90 days of surgery underwent chart review and readmissions related to the surgical wound or the prosthesis were recorded. Centres were categorized as high-usage centres when using mUKA in ≥ 20% of annual knee arthroplasties. The occurrence of complications between high- and low-usage centres were compared using Fisher's exact test.

RESULTS: We included 3,757 mUKAs: 2,377 mUKAs from high-usage centres and 1,380 mUKAs from low-usage centres. Surgical complications within 90 days occurred in 69 cases (1.8%), 45 (1.9%) in high-usage centres and 24 (1.7%) in low-usage centres (odds ratio (OR) 1.1 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.65 to 1.8)). The most frequent complications were periprosthetic joint infections (PJIs) (n = 18; 0.48%), wound-related issues (n = 14; 0.37%), and periprosthetic fractures (n = 13; 0.35%). Bearing dislocations (n = 7; 0.19%) occurred primarily in procedures from high-usage centres. In high-usage centres, seven periprosthetic fractures (0.29%) occurred compared to six (0.43%) in low-usage centres (OR 0.68 (95% CI 0.20 to 2.0)). In high-usage centres, nine PJIs (0.38%) occurred compared to nine (0.65%) in low-usage centres (OR 0.58 (95% CI 0.22 to 1.6)).

CONCLUSION: Surgical complications are rare after fast-track mUKA surgery and with no difference in overall occurrence of surgical complications between high- and low-usage centres, although the risk of some specific surgical complications may favour high-usage centres.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBone & joint open
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2023


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