Discrepant histological diagnoses: A cause of early low FJS-12 score and if untreated, unhappy Total Knee Arthroplasty patient

J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2021 Mar 6;17:118-122. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2021.02.021. eCollection 2021 Jun.


Purpose: Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) is one of the most successful operations in orthopedics. Still, a sizable percentage of patients (20%) remain dissatisfied after a well-executed TKA. The study aims to examine the excised synovium from the suprapatellar region in osteoarthritic knees during TKA and evaluate the histopathology (HP) report to know whether discrepant diagnoses affect the Forgotten Joint Score-12 at various time intervals.

Methods: This is a prospective cohort study. Two hundred (160 female; 40 male) end-stage osteoarthritis patients who underwent primary TKA were studied. An inclusion criterion was patient with end-stage osteoarthritis. Clinically and serologically proven rheumatoid arthritis patients were excluded from the study. The synovium excised during the TKA procedure was sent for the HP examination. The statistical significance was measured with the Chi-square test and two-sample t-test.

Results: A total of 184 out of the 200 patients (92%) knee synovium showed HP features of osteoarthritis. The discordant diagnoses and discrepant diagnosis rate was 8% and 7%, respectively, which is statistically significant by Chi-square test (p value < 0.0001 and p value = 0.0001). 14 of the patients (12 F:2 M) showed histological features of inflammatory/rheumatoid arthritis who were treated, two patients (all female) showed HP features of villonodular synovitis. The mean (SD) improvement in FJS-12 at six weeks in the concordant group (25.3 [17.6]) is significantly more than the discrepant group (15.3 [12.5]), p-value 0.0385.

Conclusion: 8% of our patients exhibited unexpected results. The study showed a 7% rate of discrepant diagnosis. This discrepant diagnosis if missed and untreated, would have affected the function and long-term survival of the implanted TKA.

Keywords: Discordant diagnosis; Discrepant diagnosis; Histopathology examination; Total knee arthroplasty; Unhappy patient.