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Monitoring the lifetime risk of revision knee arthroplasty over a decade

a population-level analysis of Australian national registry data

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This study aimed to describe the use of revision knee arthroplasty in Australia and examine changes in lifetime risk over a decade.


De-identified individual-level data on all revision knee arthroplasties performed in Australia from 2007 to 2017 were obtained from the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry. Population data and life tables were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The lifetime risk of revision surgery was calculated for each year using a standardized formula. Separate calculations were undertaken for males and females.


In total, 43,188 revision knee arthroplasty procedures were performed in Australia during the study period, with a median age at surgery of 69 years (interquartile range (IQR) 62 to 76). In 2017, revision knee arthroplasty rates were highest for males aged 70 to 79 years (102.9 procedures per 100,000 population). Lifetime risk of revision knee arthroplasty for females increased slightly from 1.61% (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.53% to 1.69%) in 2007 to 2.22% (95% CI 2.13% to 2.31%) in 2017. A similar pattern was evident for males, with a lifetime risk of 1.43% (95% CI 1.36% to 1.51%) in 2007 and 2.02% (95% CI 1.93% to 2.11%) in 2017. A decline in procedures performed for loosening/lysis (from 41% in 2007 to 24% in 2017) and pain (from 14% to 9%) was evident, while infection became an increasingly common indication (from 19% in 2007 to 29% in 2017).


Well-validated national registry data can help us understand the epidemiology of revision knee arthroplasty, including changing clinical indications. Despite a small increase over a decade, the lifetime risk of revision knee arthroplasty in Australia is low at one in 45 females and one in 50 males. These methods offer a population-level approach to quantifying revision burden that can be used for ongoing national surveillance and between-country comparisons.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2022;104-B(5):613–619.

Correspondence should be sent to Ilana N. Ackerman. E-mail:

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