PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to assess whether preoperative valgus or varus deformity affected survivorship after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) and to quantify the risk factors for implant failure in a registry-based population.
METHODS: The Emilia-Romagna Registry of Prosthetic Orthopedic Implants was examined regarding TKAs performed on patients with a preoperative diagnosis of valgus or varus deformity. Demographics, implant characteristic and survivorships were investigated and compared. A total of 2327 TKA procedures performed from 2000 to 2016 were included in the study. Six hundred and forty primary TKAs with a diagnosis of valgus deformity were evaluated with a median follow-up of 3.3 years; 1687 primary TKAs with a diagnosis of varus deformity were evaluated with a median follow-up of 2.5 years.
RESULTS: Bi-compartmental, cemented posterior stabilised fixed-bearing implants were preferred. For both diagnoses, the implant survivorship rate was greater than 98% in the first year. However, the survival curve of the TKAs implanted for valgus deformity showed a greater slope in the first 3 years as compared to the survival curve of those implanted for varus deformity. Valgus deformity had a 2.1-fold higher risk for revision as compared with varus deformity. Infection was a major cause of implant failure in TKAs for varus deformity, 9/24 (37.5%), while its incidence was lower for valgus deformity, 1/21 (4.8%).
CONCLUSIONS: Preoperative valgus alignment showed a twofold risk of failure as compared to varus alignment after TKA. This should be considered in daily practice, and surgeons are called on to pay more attention when performing TKAs on such patients. Prospective randomised controlled trials are, therefore, necessary to better understand the role of preoperative coronal knee deformity in implant failure.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Prognostic study, level III.
- Revision arthroplasty
- Implant failure
- Knee deformity
- Knee arthroplasty complication
- Knee malalignment