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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 12 | Pages 1617 - 1620
1 Dec 2011
Willis-Owen CA Sarraf KM Martin AE Martin DK

Symptomatic and asymptomatic deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common complication of knee replacement, with an incidence of up to 85% in the absence of prophylaxis. National guidelines for thromboprophylaxis in knee replacement are derived from total knee replacement (TKR) data. No guidelines exist specific to unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR). We investigated whether the type of knee arthroplasty (TKR or UKR) was related to the incidence of DVT and discuss the applicability of existing national guidelines for prophylaxis following UKR.

Data were collected prospectively on 3449 knee replacements, including procedure type, tourniquet time, surgeon, patient age, use of drains and gender. These variables were related to the incidence of symptomatic DVT.

The overall DVT rate was 1.6%. The only variable that had an association with DVT was operation type, with TKR having a higher incidence than UKR (2.2% versus 0.3%, p < 0.001). These data show that the incidence of DVT after UKR is both clinically and statistically significantly lower than that after TKR.

TKR and UKR patients have different risk profiles for symptomatic DVT. The risk-benefit ratio for TKR that has been used to produce national guidelines may not be applicable to UKR. Further research is required to establish the most appropriate form of prophylaxis for UKR.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 93-B, Issue 2 | Pages 205 - 209
1 Feb 2011
Willis-Owen CA Keene GC Oakeshott RD

Metallosis is a rare cause of failure after total knee replacement and has only previously been reported when there has been abnormal metal-on-metal contact. We describe 14 patients (15 knees) whose total knee replacement required revision for a new type of early failure caused by extensive metallosis. A modification of a cementless rotating platform implant, which had previously had excellent long-term survival, had been used in each case. The change was in the form of a new porous-beaded surface on the femoral component to induce cementless fixation, which had been used successfully in the fixation of acetabular and tibial components. This modification appeared to have resulted in metallosis due to abrasive two-body wear. The component has subsequently been recalled and is no longer in use. The presentation, investigation, and findings at revision are described and a possible aetiology and its implications are discussed.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 92-B, Issue 8 | Pages 1128 - 1133
1 Aug 2010
Willis-Owen CA Konyves A Martin DK

Infection remains a significant and common complication after joint replacement and there is debate about which contributing factors are important. Few studies have investigated the effect of the operating time on infection.

We collected data prospectively from 5277 hip and knee replacements which included the type of procedure, the operating time, the use of drains, the operating theatre, surgeon, age and gender. In a subgroup of 3449 knee replacements further analysis was carried out using the tourniquet time in place of the operating time. These variables were assessed by the use of generalised linear modelling against superficial, deep or joint-space post-operative infection as defined by the Australian Surgical-Site Infection criteria.

The overall infection rate was 0.98%. In the replacement data set both male gender (z = 3.097, p = 0.00195) and prolonged operating time (z = 4.325, p < 0.001) were predictive of infection. In the knee subgroup male gender (z = 2.250, p = 0.02447), a longer tourniquet time (z = 2.867, p = 0.00414) and total knee replacement (versus unicompartmental knee replacement) (z = −2.052, p = 0.0420) were predictive of infection.

These findings support the view that a prolonged operating time and male gender are associated with an increased incidence of infection. Steps to minimise intra-operative delay should be instigated, and care should be exercised when introducing measures which prolong the duration of joint replacement.