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The estimated lifetime risk of revision after primary knee arthroplasty is influenced by age, sex, and indication

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The aim of this study was to assess factors associated with the estimated lifetime risk of revision surgery after primary knee arthroplasty (KA).


All patients from the Scottish Arthroplasty Project dataset undergoing primary KA during the period 1 January 1998 to 31 December 2019 were included. The cumulative incidence function for revision and death was calculated up to 20 years. Adjusted analyses used cause-specific Cox regression modelling to determine the influence of patient factors. The lifetime risk was calculated as a percentage for patients aged between 45 and 99 years using multiple-decrement life table methodology.


The estimated lifetime risk of revision ranged between 32.7% (95% confidence interval (CI) 22.6 to 47.3) for patients aged 45 to 49 years and 0.6% (95% CI 0.1 to 4.5) for patients aged over 90 years. At 20 years, the overall cumulative incidence of revision (6.8% (95% CI 6.6 to 7.0)) was significantly less than that of death (66.3% (95% CI 65.4 to 67.1)). Adjusted analyses demonstrated converse effect of increasing age on risk of revision (hazard ratio (HR) 0.5 (95% CI 0.5 to 0.6)) and death (HR 3.6 (95% CI 3.4 to 3.7)). Male sex was associated with increased risks of revision (HR 1.1 (95% CI 1.1 to 1.2); p < 0.001) and death (HR 1.4 (95% CI 1.3 to 1.4); p < 0.001). Compared to patients undergoing primary KA for osteoarthritis, patients with inflammatory arthropathy had a higher risk of death (HR 1.7 (95% CI 1.7 to 1.8); p < 0.001), but were less likely to be revised (HR 0.9 (95% CI 0.7 to 1.0); p < 0.001). Patients with a greater number of comorbidities (HR 1.4 (95% CI 1.3 to 1.4)) and greater levels of socioeconomic deprivation (HR 1.4 (95% CI 1.4 to 1.5)) were at increased risk of death, but neither increased the risk of revision.


The estimated lifetime risk of revision KA varied depending on patient sex, age, and underlying diagnosis. Patients aged between 45 and 49 years had a one in three risk of undergoing revision surgery within their lifetime, which decreased with age to one in 159 in those aged 90 years or more.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2022;104-B(12):1313–1322.

Correspondence should be sent to Liam Z. Yapp. E-mail:

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