Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate early postoperative outcomes in patients following UKA (unicompartmental knee arthroplasty) compared to a matched cohort of TKA (total knee arthroplasty) patients.
Methods: Patients who met radiographic criteria for a medial UKA who underwent either a TKA or UKA at a single institution were matched based on age, gender, and BMI.
Results: One hundredy and fifty UKA in 138 patients and 150 TKA in 148 patients were included in this retrospective analysis. Mean age was 62.6 ± 9 years and 65.2 ± 9 years in the UKA and TKA groups respectively (p = .01). Patients who underwent UKA had significantly less pain at two and six weeks postoperatively compared to TKA patients with mean Numeric Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) scores of 3.7 ± 1.1 vs. 7.8 ± 1.2, p < .001 and 2.6 ± 1.3 vs. 4.6 ± 1.6, p < .001 respectively. Knee Society Scores (KSS) were higher in the UKA group at six weeks and two years postoperative (86.5 ± 2.8 vs. 81.4 ± 3.6, p < .001 and 89.5 ± 2.4 vs. 84.5 ± 3.3, p < .001 respectively). Return to work was faster in the UKA group (mean 20.6 ± 7.89 vs. 38.6 ± 6.23 days, p < .001). The UKA group also had higher mean Forgotten Joint Scores of 90.5 ± 3.6 vs. 79.5 ± 9.5 (p < .001).
Conclusions: Patients with primarily medial compartment OA who underwent UKA had less postoperative pain, earlier return to work, and higher KSS compared to a matched group who underwent TKA.
Keywords: Early postoperative outcomes; Forgotten joint; Return to work; Total knee arthroplasty; Unicompartmental arthroplasty.
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