Following arthroplasty of the knee, the patient’s perception of improvement in symptoms is fundamental to the assessment of outcome. Better clinical outcome may offset the inferior survival observed for some types of implant. By examining linked National Joint Registry (NJR) and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) data, we aimed to compare PROMs collected at a minimum of six months post-operatively for total (TKR: n = 23 393) and unicondylar knee replacements (UKR: n = 505). Improvements in knee-specific (Oxford knee score, OKS) and generic (EuroQol, EQ-5D) scores were compared and adjusted for case-mix differences using multiple regression. Whereas the improvements in the OKS and EQ-5D were significantly greater for TKR than for UKR, once adjustments were made for case-mix differences and pre-operative score, the improvements in the two scores were not significantly different. The adjusted mean differences in the improvement of OKS and EQ-5D were 0.0 (95% confidence interval (CI) -0.9 to 0.9; p = 0.96) and 0.009 (95% CI -0.034 to 0.015; p = 0.37), respectively.
We found no difference in the improvement of either knee-specific or general health outcomes between TKR and UKR in a large cohort of registry patients. With concerns about significantly higher revision rates for UKR observed in worldwide registries, we question the widespread use of an arthroplasty that does not confer a significant benefit in clinical outcome.
The authors would like to thank the patients and staff of all the hospitals in England and Wales who have contributed data to the National Joint Registry. We are grateful to the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), the NJR steering committee and the staff at the NJR centre for facilitating this work. This work was funded by a fellowship from the National Joint Registry NJR. The authors have conformed to the NJR’s standard protocol for data access and publication. The views expressed represent those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Joint Register Steering Committee or the Health Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), who do not vouch for how the information is presented.
No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.
- Received October 4, 2011.
- Accepted March 1, 2012.
- ©2012 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery