Recurrent hemarthrosis after unicompartmental knee arthroplasty

Orthopedics. 2011 Sep 9;34(9):e578-80. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20110714-20.


Recurrent hemarthrosis after knee arthroplasty can be disabling, requiring adequate and immediate diagnosis and treatment for recovery of symptoms and joint function. The most commonly reported cause is impingement of proliferative synovium between prosthetic components. Although various procedures for hemarthrosis have been reported after knee arthroplasty for patients who do not respond to conservative treatment, the recommended first-line therapy is open surgery or embolization. Although hyperplastic synovium was observed during the first and second arthrotomy, in our case, tissue impingement was not detected. We describe a rare case of recurrent hemarthrosis after unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) and successful treatment by open synovectomy. A 66-year-old woman presented with spontaneous osteonecrosis of the medial femoral condyle in the right leg. She underwent UKA of the right knee of the medial condyle. Eighteen months after UKA, the patient developed recurrent hemarthrosis. Open arthrotomy was performed 22 months after UKA, revealing only hematoma with no obvious hemorrhage or loosening of the prosthesis. No history of trauma or use of anticoagulant medications was present. After a symptom-free period of 8 months, another 2 episodes of hemarthrosis occurred over the course of 8 months. A second open arthrotomy was performed. Hyperplastic synovium with fibrin and hemosiderin pigmentation was observed, again without hemorrhage or loosening. There were no pathological features of pigmented villonodular synovitis. Synovectomy was performed, and no hemarthrosis has recurred for 2 years.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / adverse effects*
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / methods
  • Female
  • Hemarthrosis / etiology*
  • Hemarthrosis / surgery
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Recurrence
  • Synovectomy