A total of 2235 primary total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) and 605 unicompartmental knee arthroplasties performed at 3 institutions over 5 years were reviewed to compare the incidence of postoperative complications between these groups. The overall risk of complications for patients undergoing TKA was 11.0%, compared with 4.3% for patients undergoing unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (P < .0001). Total knee arthroplasty was associated with increased rates of manipulation (odds ratio [OR], 13.0; P < .0001), transfusion (OR, 8.5; P = .036), intensive care unit admission (OR, 7.4; P = .049), discharge to a rehabilitation facility (OR, 5.2; P < .0001) and had longer hospital stays (mean, 3.3 vs 2.0 days; P < .0001). There was a trend toward an increased risk of deep infection (0.8% vs 0.2%, P = .13), readmission (4.2% vs 2.7%, P = .0795), thromboembolic events (1.0% vs 0.64%, P = .398), and any reoperation (1.4% vs 0.6%; P = .064). The increased risk of perioperative complications after TKA should be considered when counseling patients if they are an appropriate candidate for either procedure.
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