Overall cancer incidence not increased after prosthetic knee replacement: 14,551 patients followed for 66,622 person-years

Int J Cancer. 1996 Sep 27;68(1):30-3. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19960927)68:1<30::AID-IJC6>3.0.CO;2-Y.


It is unknown whether patients as a consequence of prosthetic joint replacement are at a higher risk of developing cancer. We therefore analyzed cancer incidence following prosthetic knee replacement (TKR). The observed cancer incidence in 14,551 patients from the population-based Swedish Knee Arthroplasty Register who have undergone TKR because of osteoarthrosis (OA, n = 10,120) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n = 4431) were compared with the expected cancer incidence for a Swedish reference population. The cohort was followed for a total of 66,622 person-years. We followed 33% of the patients with OA and 59% of those with RA for more than 5 years. All patients who underwent TKR, whether for OA or for RA, had lower than expected total cancer incidence. We found a markedly low incidence of colorectal carcinoma, especially in patients with RA. Our results do not indicate an increased incidence of cancer following TKR.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / surgery
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Prosthesis / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery
  • Sweden
  • Time Factors