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Orthopaedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research
Sous presse. Epreuves corrigées par l'auteur. Disponible en ligne depuis le samedi 12 mai 2018
Doi : 10.1016/j.otsr.2018.02.015
Received : 29 December 2017 ;  accepted : 21 February 2018
Fewer complications after UKA than TKA in patients over 85 years of age: A case-control study

Quentin Ode a, Romain Gaillard a, Cécile Batailler a, c, Yannick Herry a, Philippe Neyret b, Elvire Servien a, Sébastien Lustig a, c,
a Service de chirurgie orthopédique, CHU Lyon Croix-Rousse, hospices civils de Lyon, 69004 Lyon, France 
b Centre Albert-Trillat, 69004 Lyon, France 
c Laboratoire de biomécanique et mécanique des chocs, université Claude-Bernard Lyon 1, IFSTTAR, 69622 Villeurbanne, France 

Corresponding author. Service de chirurgie orthopédique, CHU Lyon Croix-Rousse, hospices civils de Lyon, 69004 Lyon, France.Service de chirurgie orthopédique, CHU Lyon Croix-Rousse, hospices civils de Lyon, 69004 Lyon, France.

Implanting a knee prosthesis in patients aged over 85 years is not without risk. Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) is reputed to show lower morbidity and mortality than total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Elderly patients with isolated unicompartmental osteoarthritis without specific contraindications are thus good candidates for this procedure. The present retrospective case-control study compared complications rates in elderly patients receiving UKA versus TKA. The study hypothesis was that UKA incurs fewer complications, with equivalent functional results.

Material and methods

Five hundred and forty-four UKAs were performed between 1987 and 2015; all patients aged 85 years or over (n =30) were included, and age-matched at a rate of 1 UKA for 3 TKAs in our database of 4,216 TKA procedures. Mean age was 87.5 years (range, 85–92 years). The main endpoint was complications rate; secondary endpoints comprised satisfaction, IKS function and knee scores, and implant survival.


Mean follow-up was 32 months (range, 12–118 months) for UKA and 34 months (range, 12–100 months) for TKA. The medical complications rate was significantly lower with UKA (6.7% versus 25.6%; P =0.02), with no early mortality. IKS scores were identical between UKA and TKA groups at last follow-up: knee, 93.8 (95% CI [89.7–98.0]) versus 89.5 (95% CI [85.6–93.4]), P =0.06; function, 63.8 (95% CI [53.1–74.5]) versus 67.0 (95% CI [61.3–72.7]), P =0.62. Satisfaction rates were likewise identical: 96% and 97%, respectively (P =0.77); and implant survivorship was identical (P =0.54).


Early medical complications were fewer after UKA than TKA in a population aged 85 years, with comparable clinical outcome. These results argue in favor of UKA in elderly patients with comorbidities.

Level of evidence

III, case-control study.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Keywords : Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty, Total knee arthroplasty, Geriatric surgery, Geriatrics, Complications

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