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Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2011 May;8(2):23-5.

Painful knee arthroplasty: definition and overview.

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First Orthopaedic Clinic, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.


Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) is one of the most successful procedures in Orthopaedic Surgery, with good clinical results and high survival rate in more than 90% of the cases at long-term follow-up. Since the increase of population's mean age, worsening of articular degenerative alterations, and articular sequelae related to previous fractures, there is a persistent growing of the number of knee arthroplasties in every country each year, with expected increase of complications rates. Painful TKA is considered an unusual complication, but several reports focus on this challenging clinical issue.Common causes of painful TKA may be divided as early or late, and in referred, periarticular or intra-articular. Among the early, we recall implant instability (related to surgical and technical mistakes) and problems of extensor mechanism (patella not resurfaced, malalignment of femoral, tibial, or patellar component, tendons failure or degeneration). Late causes of painful TKA are almost related to aseptic loosening and infection, but also, even if unusual, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, synovitis, and hypersensitivity to metal implants are represented.Hypersensitivity to metal is a clinical issue with significative increase, but to date without a specific characterization. The Authors report about incidence, clinical features, and diagnostic pathways of hypersensitivity to metal implants, focusing on the prevention of this challenging problem.


hypersensitivity to metal; painful total knee arthroplasty


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