Survival of knee arthroplasties. A nation-wide multicentre investigation of 8000 cases.
A prospective nation-wide study of knee arthroplasty has been under way in Sweden since October 1975. By the end of 1983, 4505 arthroplasties for osteoarthritis and 3495 for rheumatoid arthritis had been recorded and reviewed one, three and six years after the operation. Using actuarial methods, the probability of the prosthesis remaining in situ after six years was calculated. In osteoarthritis this probability ranged from 65% for hinged prostheses to 90% for medial compartment prostheses. Two-and three-compartment prostheses produced intermediate results with 87% survival. In rheumatoid arthritis the probability varied from 72% for medial compartment prostheses to 90% for two- and three-compartment prostheses. The main reason for failure was loosening of the components, the second most common was infection. The probability of revision for infection by six years was 2% in osteoarthritis and 3% in rheumatoid arthritis. Most revisions were to a three-compartment prosthesis. Knee fusion at primary revision was required in 2% of the cases at six years.