Reliable outcomes and survivorship of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty for isolated compartment osteonecrosis

B. P. Chalmers, K. G. Mehrotra, R. J. Sierra, Mark Pagnano, M. J. Taunton, Matthew Abdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Aims: Primary (or spontaneous) and secondary osteonecrosis of the knee can lead to severe joint degeneration, for which either total or unicompartmental arthroplasty may be considered. However, there are limited studies analyzing outcomes of unicompartmental knee arthroplasties (UKAs) for osteonecrosis involving an isolated compartment of the knee. The aims of this study were to analyze outcomes of UKAs for osteonecrosis with specific focus on 1) survivorship free of any revision or reoperation, 2) risk factors for failure, 3) clinical outcomes, and 4) complications. Patients and Methods: A total of 45 patients underwent 46 UKAs for knee osteonecrosis between 2002 and 2014 at our institution (The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota). Twenty patients (44%) were female; the mean age of the patients was 66 years, and mean body mass index (BMI) was 31 kg/m2. Of the 46 UKAs, 44 (96%) were medial UKAs, and 35 (76%) were fixed-bearing design. Mean mechanical axis postoperatively was 1.5° varus (0° to 5° varus); 41 UKAs (89%) were performed for primary osteonecrosis. Mean follow-up was five years (2 to 12) Results: Survivorship free of any revision in the cohort was 89% (95% CI 77 to 99) and 76% (95% CI 53 to 99) at five and ten years, respectively. In patients undergoing UKA for primary osteonecrosis survivorship free of any revision was 93% (95% CI 83 to 100)at both five and ten years. Secondary osteonecrosis was a significant risk factor for poorer survivorship free of any revision or reoperation (hazard ratio 7.7, p = 0.03). Three medial UKAs (6.5%) were converted to total knee arthroplasties (TKAs): two for lateral compartment degeneration and one for development of lateral osteonecrosis. No implants were revised for loosening, fracture, or wear. Knee Society scores improved from a mean of 60 (44 to 72) preoperatively to a mean of 94 postoperatively (82 to 100) (p < 0.001). There were no surgical complications. Conclusion: When done for primary osteonecrosis of the knee, UKA resulted in reliable clinical improvement, minimal complications, and durable estimated implant survivorship free of revision at ten years. UKA done for secondary osteonecrosis was substantially less durable at mid-term follow-up. Progression of knee degeneration, rather than implant failure or loosening, was most common indication for conversion to TKA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-454
Number of pages5
JournalBone and Joint Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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