Knee arthrodesis: procedures and perspectives in the US from 1993 to 2011

Eric M. Lucas, Nicholas C. Marais, John D. DesJardins
2016 SpringerPlus  
The incidence and prevalence of knee arthrodesis (fusion) in the United States is largely unknown, in spite of numerous case reports and review articles that have called attention to this life altering procedure. Purpose: This study was conducted to determine long-term knee arthrodesis incidence and patient populations, and to characterize the associated healthcare burden. Methods: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to evaluate knee arthrodesis procedures performed in the United States
more » ... ween 1993 and 2011. Patient age, sex, and reimbursement method were evaluated along with hospital attributes. Procedural rates for individual demographics were calculated using population data from the US Census. Commonly occurring diagnoses and procedures in knee arthrodesis were compiled. Results: The annual number of reported knee arthrodesis procedures remained relatively unchanged between 1993 and 2011 (Mean 1014, Standard Deviation 113), but there was a small but significant decrease in the procedure rate when taking population changes into account. Over 80 % of patients were aged 45 or above. Approximately 65 % of patients utilized governmental payers for reimbursement. Nearly all of the procedures were performed in metropolitan area hospitals (92.5 %), and a significant majority performed in teaching hospitals (62 %). Conclusions: The low incidence of knee arthrodesis procedures reflects both clinician and patient antipathy for this undesirable surgery. Case studies continue to reflect an interest to improve methodology, but also suggest a significant number of patients that go untreated given the current state of the art. Future work should seek to quantify the prevalence of patients with a severely dysfunctional knee who might otherwise undergo arthrodesis, but opt against it given the significant quality of life issues associated with the procedure. References Angelini A, Henderson E, Trovarelli G, Ruggieri P (2013) Is there a role for knee arthrodesis with modular endoprostheses for tumor and revision of failed endoprostheses? Clin Orthop Relat Res. (2006) Arthrodesis of the knee with a long intramedullary nail following the failure of a total knee arthroplasty as the result of infection. J Bone Joint Surg Am 88A(3):553-558. doi:10.2106/JBJS.E.00575 Bartlett W, Vijayan S, Pollock R et al (2011) The Stanmore knee arthrodesis prosthesis. J Arthroplasty 26(6):903-908. (2016) Trends and outcomes in the treatment of failed septic total knee arthroplasty: comparing arthrodesis and above-knee amputation. J Arthroplasty 31(7):
doi:10.1186/s40064-016-3285-z pmid:27652179 fatcat:yvt752bgnfb5hhi2dmnt2ofvma