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Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2009 Apr;17(4):328-33. doi: 10.1007/s00167-008-0669-9. Epub 2008 Dec 20.

Is previous knee arthroscopy related to worse results in primary total knee arthroplasty?

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, School of Medical Sciences, State University of Campinas, UNICAMP, Campinas, Brazil.


According to literature, knee arthroscopy is a minimal invasive surgery performed for minor surgical trauma, reduced morbidity and shortens the hospitalization period. Therefore, this type of surgery before total knee arthroplasty (TKA) could be considered a minor procedure with minimum postoperative complication. A retrospective and cohort series of 1,474 primary TKA was performed with re-assessment after a minimum follow-up period of 2 years: 1,119 primary TKA had no previous surgery (group A) and 60 primary TKA had arthroscopic debridement (group B). All the patients underwent a clinical and radiological evaluation as well as IKS scores. Statistical analysis of postoperative complications revealed that group B had a higher postoperative complication rate (P < 0.01). In this group, 30% of local complications were re-operated and 8.3% of these cases underwent revision TKA (P < 0.01). The mean interval between arthroscopy and primary TKA was 53 months. However, statistical analysis did not reveal a direct correlation between arthroscopy/primary TKA interval and postoperative complications/failures (P = 0.55). The Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed a survival rate of 98.1 and 86.8% at 10 years follow-up for groups A and B, respectively. Our data allow us to conclude that previous knee arthroscopy should be considered a factor related to postoperative primary TKA outcomes as demonstrated by the higher rate of postoperative complications and failures (P < 0.001) as well as a worse survival curve than group A.

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