After One Joint Wears Out, Will More Go?
Here’s a question I’m often asked by patients: “If one of my joints has worn out, how likely are the others to go?” A recent publication from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) lends some insights into this question. The study, found in the Aug. 12, 2019 issue of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, is the first of its kind. The likelihood of undergoing a 2nd Arthroplasty (Joint replacement) after hip or knee replacement had not previously been evaluated.
The authors prospectively asked 2 questions. “What is the likelihood of second Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) or Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA) after primary TKA or THA?” and “What risk factors are associated with undergoing addition joint replacement. The study identified 332 patients who underwent primary TKA and another 132 who underwent THA across five OAI-participating centers in the U.S., who hadn’t previously had a THA or TKA. The patients were followed for 8 years after their primary joint replacement.
- The incidence of contralateral (opposite Knee) TKA after primary TKA was 40%
- The incidence of THA after any TKA was 13%
- The incidence of contralateral (opposite) THA after primary THA was 8%
- The incidence of any TKA after primary THA was 32%
As for the second question in the study: Risk factors for undergoing contralateral TKA were younger age and a loss of medial joint space with a varus angulation, or bow leg deformity.
The conclusion is clear: Patients who underwent TKA or THA for osteoarthritis had a relatively high rate of subsequent joint arthroplasty. There’s no question that osteoarthritis is common and debilitating, and often it affects more than one large, weight-bearing joint.
If you need a joint replacement or want to learn more about the procedure, recovery process and quality-of-life prognosis, please contact our office. We’ll help you return to your healthy, pain-free lifestyle. Dr. Stickney, a Kirkland orthopedic surgeon, is a knee and hip expert specializing in joint replacement surgery.