Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty has higher revisions than total knee arthroplasty at long term follow-up: a registry study on 6453 prostheses

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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to analyse long-term unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) focusing on survivorship, causes of failure and revision strategy.

METHODS: This study is a retrospective analysis of data from a regional arthroplasty registry for cases performed between 2000 and 2017. A total of 6453 UKAs were identified and the following information was analysed: demographic data, diagnosis leading to primary implant, survivorship, complication rate, causes of failure, revision strategies. UKA registry data were compared with total knee arthroplasty (TKA) registry data of 54,012 prostheses, which were implanted in the same time period.

RESULTS: 6453 UKAs were included in the study: the vast majority of them (84.4%) were implanted due to primary osteoarthritis followed by deformity (7.1%) and necrosis of the condyle (5.1%). When compared to TKA, UKA showed lower perioperative complication rate (0.3% compared to 0.6%) but higher revision rate (18.2% at 15 years, compared to 6.2% for TKA). No correlation was found between diagnosis leading to primary implant and prosthesis survival. The most frequent cause of failure was total aseptic loosening (37.4%), followed by pain without loosening (19.8%). Of the 620 UKAs requiring revision, 485 were revised with a TKA and 61 of them required a re-revision; on the other hand, of the 35 cases where another UKA was implanted, 16 required a re-revision.

CONCLUSION: UKA is associated with fewer perioperative complications but higher revision rates when compared to TKA. Its survivorship is not affected by the diagnosis leading to primary implant. Revision surgery of a failed UKA should be performed implanting a TKA, which is associated with a lower re-revision rate when compared to another UKA.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level 3, therapeutic study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 1 2020


  • Arthroplasty registry
  • Modes of failure
  • Registry study
  • Revision rate
  • Total knee arthroplasty
  • Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty
  • Usage


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