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Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty Revision to TKA: Are Tibial Stems and Augments Associated With Improved Survivorship?

Peter L Lewis, David C Davidson, Stephen E Graves, Richard N de Steiger, William Donnelly, Alana Cuthbert
Clinical Orthopaedics and related Research 2018, 476 (4): 854-862

BACKGROUND: Some surgeons contend that unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) can easily be revised to a TKA when revision is called for, whereas others believe that this can be complex and technically demanding. There has been little research regarding the efficacy or rationale of using metal augmentation and tibial stem extensions when revising a UKA to a TKA. QUESTION/PURPOSES: (1) Is the use of stem extensions for the tibial component associated with increased survival when revising a UKA to a TKA? (2) Is the addition of modular augments associated with increased survival compared with stem extensions alone? (3) Is TKA design (minimally stabilized versus posterior-stabilized) or (4) tibial fixation (cemented versus cementless) associated with differences in survivorship?

METHODS: Data from the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry (AOANJRR) were used to analyze implant survival after revision of a UKA to a TKA, comparing results in which tibial components were used with and without modular components. The groups analyzed were TKA without a stem extension, those in which a tibial stem extension was used, and those in which a tibial stem extension was used together with an augment. There were 4438 revisions of UKAs to TKAs available for analysis. The mean duration of followup of patients having the TKA revisions was 5 years (SD, 3.5 years). There were 2901 (65%) procedures in which a tibial stem extension was not used, 870 (20%) procedures with a tibial stem extension, and 667 (15%) with a tibial stem extension and metallic augment. Kaplan-Meier estimates of survivorship were calculated and hazard ratios (HRs) from Cox proportional hazard models, adjusting for age and sex, were used to compare the rate of revision among groups. The overall 10-year cumulative percent revision (CPR) for UKA revised to a TKA was 16%.

RESULTS: At 10 years, the CPR was increased when a stem extension was not used (19%; 95% confidence interval [CI],16.5-20.7 without a stem extension compared with 13%; 95% CI, 9.2-17.0 with a stem extension; entire period HR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.10-1.89; p = 0.007). There was no difference in the 10-year CPR when an augment was used together with a stem extension compared with a stem extension alone (HR, 1.26; 95% CI, 0.85-1.86; p = 0.251). When minimally stabilized and posterior-stabilized TKAs were compared, there was no difference in survivorship. Minimally stabilized TKA designs without stem extensions showed higher CPR compared with when stem extensions were used (HR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.16-2.70; p = 0.007), whereas posterior-stabilized designs without stem extensions showed higher CPR only when compared with when stem extensions and augments were both used (HR, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.24-3.77; p = 0.006). Cementless fixation of the tibial component resulted in a higher CPR than when cement was used (HR, 1.36; 95% CI 1.08-1.71; p = 0.008).

CONCLUSIONS: In this registry study, the risk of repeat revision after revision of a UKA to a TKA was lower when a tibial stem extension was used, but no such difference was found with respect to augments. Our study did not account for the degree of bone loss or surgeon preference when considering stems and augments. Further research to establish the degree of bone loss associated with UKA to TKA revision procedures will help clarify these findings.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, therapeutic study.


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