The use of preoperative continuous positive airway pressure in patients with obstructive sleep apnea following total knee arthroplasty: a propensity score matched analysis

Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2024 Jun;144(6):2775-2781. doi: 10.1007/s00402-024-05238-0. Epub 2024 May 17.


Introduction: Patients with sleep apnea, affecting up to 1 in 4 older men in the United States, may be at increased risk of postoperative complications after total knee arthroplasty (TKA), including increased thromboembolic and cerebrovascular events, as well as respiratory, cardiac, and digestive complications. However, the extent to which the use of CPAP in patients with sleep apnea has been studied in TKA is limited.

Methods: A national, all-payer database was queried to identify all patients who underwent a primary TKA between 2010 and 2021. Patients who had any history of sleep apnea were identified and then stratified based on the use of CPAP. A propensity score match analysis was conducted to limit the influence of confounders. Medical complications, such as cardiac arrest, stroke, pulmonary embolism, transfusion, venous thromboembolism, and wound complications, were collected at 90-days, 1-year, and 2-years.

Results: The bivariate analysis showed inferior outcomes for sleep apnea with CPAP use compared to sleep apnea with no CPAP use, in terms of length of stay (5.9 vs. 5.2, p < 0.001), PJI (1.31% vs. 1.14%, p < 0.001), stroke (0.97% vs. 0.82%, p < 0.001), VTE (1.04% vs. 0.82, p < 0.001), and all other complications at 90-days (p < 0.001) except cardiac arrest (0.14% vs. 0.11%, p = 0.052), and aseptic revision (0.40% vs. 0.39%, p = 0.832), PJI (1.81% vs. 1.55%, p < 0.001) and aseptic revision (1.25% vs. 1.06%, p < 0.001) at 1-year, and PJI (2.07 vs. 1.77, p < 0.001) and aseptic revision (1.98 vs. 1.17, p < 0.001) at 2-years.

Conclusion: Patients with sleep apnea have increased postoperative complications after undergoing TKA in comparison to patients without sleep apnea. More severe sleep apnea, represented by CPAP usage in this study led to worse postoperative outcomes but further analysis is required signify the role of CPAP in this patient population. Patients with sleep apnea should be treated as a high-risk group.

Keywords: Airway; Complications; Cpap; Revisions; Sleep apnea; Total knee arthroplasty.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee* / adverse effects
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications* / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications* / etiology
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Propensity Score*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / therapy